Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver, Canada

The University of British Columbia, commonly referred to as UBC, is a public research university with campuses and facilities in the province of British Columbia, Canada.Founded in 1908 as the McGill University College of British Columbia, the university became independent and adopted its current name in 1915. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in British Columbia and enrolls over 58,000 students at its Vancouver and Okanagan Valley campuses. UBC's 4.02 km2 Vancouver campus is located within the University Endowment Lands, about 10 km from Downtown Vancouver. The 2.09 km2 Kelowna campus, acquired in 2005, is located in the Okanagan Valley.UBC is ranked 30th in the world according to U.S. News & World Report 's 2015 rankings and eighth among universities outside the United States by Newsweek. UBC faculty, alumni, and researchers have won seven Nobel Prizes, 68 Rhodes Scholarships, 65 Olympic medals, 180 fellowships to the Royal Society of Canada, and alumni include two Canadian prime ministers. UBC is a research-intensive university that funds more than 8,000 projects with its $519 million research budget.UBC is a non-sectarian and coeducational institution, with more than 275,000 living alumni in 120 countries. The university is a member of Universitas 21, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning, the International Association of Universities, the U15 and the only Canadian member of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities. The university's varsity teams, known as the Thunderbirds in Vancouver and the Heat in the Okanagan, compete in the Canada West Universities Athletic Association of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Wikipedia.


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Patent
University of British Columbia | Date: 2016-04-18

This invention provides the use of a polymer comprising a hyperbranched polyether polyol such as hyperbranched polyglycerol as a serum albumin substitute. Also provided are high molecular weight hyperbranched polyglycerol polymers suitable for a variety of medical and non-medical uses including methods for making such high molecular weight polymers.


Patent
University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University | Date: 2015-04-09

This invention provides compound having a structure of Formulas: Uses of such compounds for treatment of various indications, including prostate cancer as well as methods of treatment involving such compounds are also provide.


Patent
University of British Columbia | Date: 2016-07-14

The present invention provides methods for inhibiting complement activation and uses thereof. More specifically, the present invention provides methods for inhibiting complement activation using inorganic polyphosphates of at least 10 phosphate units. The polyphosphates inhibit complement activation by one or more of: binding to the C6 complement protein, C1-esterase inhibitor (C1-inh), factor H or factor B; enhancing the activity of C1-inh; interfering with C1s-mediated cleavage of C2; destabilizing the C5b-6 complement protein complex; interfering with C5b,6 interaction with C7; interfering with binding of C5b-7 to a cell membrane; interfering with integration of C5b-7 into a cell membrane; interfering with binding of C5b-8 to a cell membrane; interfering with integration of C5b-8 into a cell membrane; destabilizing the membrane attack complex (MAC); or reducing the amount of C5b-9 deposited on a cell surface.


Patent
University of British Columbia, University of Toronto and Institute National Of Recherche En Informatique Et En Automatique | Date: 2015-04-16

A method is for estimating a three-dimensional (3D) representation of a set of two-dimensional (2D) curves of a concept drawing, the estimate of the 3D representation corresponding to a 3D object underlying the concept drawing. The method comprises: obtaining a representation of a set of 2D curves a concept drawing that represent a 3D object underlying the concept drawing; determining an energy function based on the set of 2D curves, the energy function comprising one or more terms, each term reflective of a preference for a 3D representation based on a characteristic of the 2D curves which reflects how concept drawings are commonly perceived to represent 3D objects; and performing an optimization which minimizes the energy function to thereby determine the 3D representation.


Isman M.B.,University of British Columbia | Grieneisen M.L.,University of California at Davis | Grieneisen M.L.,Wenzhou University
Trends in Plant Science | Year: 2014

Our analysis of >20. 000 papers on botanical insecticides from 1980 to 2012, indicates major growth in the number of papers published annually (61 in 1980 to 1207 in 2012), and their proportion among all papers on insecticides (1.43% in 1980 to 21.38% in 2012). However, only one-third of 197 random articles among the 1086 papers on botanical insecticides published in 2011 included any chemical data or characterization; and only a quarter of them included positive controls. Therefore, a substantial portion of recently published studies has design flaws that limit reproducibility and comparisons with other and/or future studies. In our opinion, much of the scientific literature on this subject is of limited use in the progress toward commercialization or advancement of knowledge, given the resources expended. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Foulsham T.,University of Essex | Kingstone A.,University of British Columbia
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General | Year: 2013

Many modern theories propose that perceptual information is represented by the sensorimotor activity elicited by the original stimulus. Scanpath theory (Noton & Stark, 1971) predicts that reinstating a sequence of eye fixations will help an observer recognize a previously seen image. However, the only studies to investigate this are correlational ones based on calculating scanpath similarity. We therefore describe a series of 5 experiments that constrain the fixations during encoding or recognition of images in order to manipulate scanpath similarity. Participants encoded a set of images and later had to recognize those that they had seen. They spontaneously selected regions that they had fixated during encoding (Experiment 1), and this was a predictor of recognition accuracy. Yoking the parts of the image available at recognition to the encoded scanpath led to better memory performance than randomly selected image regions (Experiment 2), and this could not be explained by the spatial distribution of locations (Experiment 3). However, there was no recognition advantage for re-viewing one's own fixations versus someone else's (Experiment 4) or for retaining their serial order (Experiment 5). Therefore, although it is beneficial to look at encoded regions, there is no evidence that scanpaths are stored or that scanpath recapitulation is functional in scene memory. This paradigm provides a controlled way of studying the integration of scene content, spatial structure, and oculomotor signals, with consequences for the perception, representation, and retrieval of visual information. © American Psychological Association.


Agranovich V.M.,University of Texas at Dallas | Agranovich V.M.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Gartstein Y.N.,University of Texas at Dallas | Litinskaya M.,University of British Columbia
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2011

The hybrid resonant organic-inorganic nanostructures for optoelectronic applications are examined. The probability of Förster resonant energy transfer from an excited molecule to another molecule is proportional to the overlap of the fluorescence spectrum of the donor and the absorption spectrum of the acceptor, these spectra being determined in the absence of the donor acceptor interaction. The dependence of energy transfer on the distance between components of the nanostructure strongly depends on its geometry and is different for quantum wells, wires, and dots. The UV light-emitting InGaN QW is spaced from the blue-light-emitting poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-co-9,9-di(4- methoxy)phenyl-fluorene) film by GaN cap layers of variable thickness. Energetic alignment is needed to maximize the resonant coupling between the inorganic and organic excitations. The energy-transfer-based hybrids are expected to be more interface quality tolerant and not suffer from low charge carrier mobilities in the organic component.


Nosil P.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Nosil P.,Institute for Advanced Study | Schluter D.,University of British Columbia
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2011

The long-standing goal of finding genes causing reproductive isolation is being achieved. To better link the genetics with the process of speciation, we propose that 'speciation gene' be defined as any gene contributing to the evolution of reproductive isolation. Characterizing a speciation gene involves establishing that the gene affects a component of reproductive isolation; demonstrating that divergence at the locus occurred before completion of speciation; and quantifying the effect size of the gene (i.e. the increase in total reproductive isolation caused by its divergence). Review of a sample of candidate speciation genes found that few meet these criteria. Improved characterization of speciation genes will clarify how numerous they are, their properties and how they affect genome-wide patterns of divergence. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Brunham L.R.,University of British Columbia | Hayden M.R.,University of British Columbia | Hayden M.R.,National University of Singapore
Science | Year: 2012

Whole-genome sequencing may dramatically alter medicine, but there are obstacles to broad implementation.


Hopcraft J.G.C.,University of Groningen | Olff H.,University of Groningen | Sinclair A.R.E.,University of British Columbia
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2010

Herbivores are regulated by predation under certain environmental conditions, whereas under others they are limited by forage abundance and nutritional quality. Whether top-down or bottom-up regulation prevails depends both on abiotic constraints on forage availability and body size, because size simultaneously affects the risk of predation of herbivores and their nutritional demands. Consequently, ecosystems composed of similar species can have different dynamics if they differ in resource supply. Here, we use large herbivore assemblages in African savanna ecosystems to develop a framework that connects environmental gradients and disturbance patterns with body size and trophic structure. This framework provides a model for understanding the functioning and diversity of ecosystems in general, and unifies how top-down and bottom-up mechanisms depend on common underlying environmental gradients. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


McCutcheon J.P.,University of Montana | Keeling P.J.,University of British Columbia
Current Biology | Year: 2014

New work in aphids shows that a nuclear-encoded protein resulting from a horizontal gene transfer is targeted to a bacterial symbiont, further blurring the distinction between organelle and symbiont. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.


Herron M.D.,University of British Columbia | Herron M.D.,University of Montana | Doebeli M.,University of British Columbia
PLoS Biology | Year: 2013

The causes and mechanisms of evolutionary diversification are central issues in biology. Geographic isolation is the traditional explanation for diversification, but recent theoretical and empirical studies have shown that frequency-dependent selection can drive diversification without isolation and that adaptive diversification occurring in sympatry may be an important source of biological diversity. However, there are no empirical examples in which sympatric lineage splits have been understood at the genetic level, and it is unknown how predictable this process is-that is, whether similar ecological settings lead to parallel evolutionary dynamics of diversification. We documented the genetic basis and the evolutionary dynamics of adaptive diversification in three replicate evolution experiments, in which competition for two carbon sources caused initially isogenic populations of the bacterium Escherichia coli to diversify into two coexisting ecotypes representing different physiological adaptations in the central carbohydrate metabolism. Whole-genome sequencing of clones of each ecotype from different populations revealed many parallel and some unique genetic changes underlying the derived phenotypes, including changes to the same genes and sometimes to the same nucleotide. Timelines of allele frequencies extracted from the frozen "fossil" record of the three evolving populations suggest parallel evolutionary dynamics driven at least in part by a co-evolutionary process in which mutations causing one type of physiology changed the ecological environment, allowing the invasion of mutations causing an alternate physiology. This process closely corresponds to the evolutionary dynamics seen in mathematical models of adaptive diversification due to frequency-dependent ecological interactions. The parallel genetic changes underlying similar phenotypes in independently evolved lineages provide empirical evidence of adaptive diversification as a predictable evolutionary process. © 2013 Herron, Doebeli.


Donkin J.J.,University of British Columbia | Vink R.,University of Adelaide
Current Opinion in Neurology | Year: 2010

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Although a number of factors contribute to the high mortality and morbidity associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI), the development of cerebral edema with brain swelling remains the most significant predictor of outcome. The present review summarizes the most recent advances in the understanding of mechanisms associated with development of posttraumatic cerebral edema, and highlights areas of therapeutic promise. RECENT FINDINGS: Despite the predominance of cytotoxic (or cellular) edema in the first week after traumatic brain injury, brain swelling can only occur with addition of water to the cranial vault from the vasculature. As such, regulation of blood-brain barrier permeability has become a focus of recent research seeking to manage brain edema. Aquaporins, matrix metalloproteinases and vasoactive inflammatory agents have emerged as potential mediators of cerebral edema following traumatic brain injury. In particular, kinins (bradykinins) and tachykinins (substance P) seem to play an active physiological role in modulating blood-brain barrier permeability after trauma. Substance P neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists show particular promise as novel therapeutic agents. SUMMARY: Attenuating blood-brain barrier permeability has become a promising approach to managing brain edema and associated swelling given that increases in cranial water content can only be derived from the vasculature. Inflammation, both classical and neurogenic, offers a number of attractive targets. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Nelson S.K.,University of California at Riverside | Kushlev K.,University of British Columbia | Lyubomirsky S.,University of California at Riverside
Psychological Bulletin | Year: 2014

The relationship between parenthood and well-being has become a hot topic among scholars, media, and general public alike. The research, however, has been mixed-some studies indicate that parents are happier than nonparents, whereas others suggest the reverse. We suggest that the question of whether parents are more or less happy than their childless peers is not the most meaningful one. To reconcile the conflicting literature and expand understanding of the emotional experience of parenthood, we present a model of parents' well-being that describes why and how parents experience more or less happiness than nonparents (i.e., mediators of the link between parenthood and well-being). We then apply this model to explain when parents are more likely to experience more or less happiness (i.e., moderators of parents' well-being, such as parent age or child temperament). Supporting our model, we review 3 primary methodological approaches: studies comparing parents and nonparents, studies examining changes in well-being across the transition to parenthood, and studies comparing parents' experiences while with their children to their other daily activities. Our review suggests that the relationship between parenthood and well-being is highly complex. We propose that parents are unhappy to the extent that they encounter relatively greater negative emotions, magnified financial problems, more sleep disturbance, and troubled marriages. By contrast, when parents experience greater meaning in life, satisfaction of their basic needs, greater positive emotions, and enhanced social roles, they are met with happiness and joy. © 2014 American Psychological Association.


Duncan C.P.,University of British Columbia | Haddad F.S.,22 Buckingham Street
Bone and Joint Journal | Year: 2014

Periprosthetic fractures are an increasingly common complication following joint replacement. The principles which underpin their evaluation and treatment are common across the musculoskeletal system. The Unified Classification System proposes a rational approach to treatment, regardless of the bone that is broken or the joint involved. ©2014 The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.1-01 | Award Amount: 7.75M | Year: 2012

In the midst of a climatic change scenario, the genetics of adaptive response in conifers becomes essential to ensure a sustainable management of genetic resources and an effective breeding. Conifers are the target of major tree breeding efforts worldwide. Advances in molecular technologies, such as next-generation DNA sequencing technologies, could have an enormous impact on the rate of progress and achievements made by tree breeding programmes. These new technologies might be used not only to improve our understanding of fundamental conifer biology, but also to address practical problems for the forest industry as well as problems related to the adaptation and management of conifer forests. In this context, ProCoGen will address genome sequencing of two keystone European conifer species. Genome re-sequencing approaches will be used to obtain two reference pine genomes. Comparative genomics and genetic diversity will be closely integrated and linked to targeted functional genomics investigations to identify genes and gene networks that efficiently help to develop or enhance applications related to forest productivity, forest stewardship in response to environmental change or conservation efforts. The development of high-throughput genotyping tools will produce an array of pre-breeding tools to be implemented in forest tree breeding programmes. ProCoGen will also develop comparative studies based on orthologous sequences, genes and markers, which will allow guiding re-sequencing initiatives and exploiting the research accumulated on each of the species under consideration to accelerate the use of genomic tools in diverse species. ProCoGen will integrate fragmented activities developed by European research groups involved in several ongoing international conifer genome initiatives and contribute to strengthening international collaboration with North American initiatives (US and Canada).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-PE9 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2013

Stars like our Sun and planets like our Earth form in dense regions within interstellar molecular clouds, called pre-stellar cores (PSCs). PSCs provide the initial conditions in the process of star and planet formation, but large uncertainties exist concerning basic astrophysical processes and parameters, such as surface chemistry, the cosmic-ray ionization rate, the H2 ortho-to-para ratio, the abundance of atomic Oxygen and metals. In current models, these parameters/processes are typically fixed to some canonical values and variations across PSCs are neglected. With the new generation of telescopes and the advances in radiative transfer and dynamical/chemical modelling, the time has now come to develop theoretical models without highly uncertain parameters. PCSs are dark, cold and quiescent. They are the simplest units in the process of star formation. Thus, they provide a unique opportunity for the study of fundamental astrophysical processes in a calm environment, just before the battering of the protostellar storm. For this reason, PSCs can be used as ideal laboratories to refine our understanding of how stars and planets form. With this advanced grant fellowship, I plan to connect state of the art dynamical and chemical models and test them against detailed observations of prototypical PCSs to first deliver parameters and processes that are needed to understand basic physical mechanisms. I will then explore in detail the formation, evolution and physical/chemical structure of PSCs in different environments. Finally, with the help of ALMA data, I will focus on the central few thousands AU and study the first steps toward the formation and early evolution of proto-planetary disks (PPDs). This is sorely needed to enable us to understand the initial conditions in the process of star and planet formation and to link PSCs with PPDs, currently studied by different communities, with the ultimate aim of understanding our chemical/physical heritage.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: ENV.2009.2.1.6.2 | Award Amount: 1.19M | Year: 2010

The main aim of FoResTTraC is to prepare future coordinated research plans, via a strategic research roadmap, between Europe and North America regarding adaptation of forest trees to climate changes, linking different disciplines: ecology, genetics, genomics and evolution. FoResTTraC brings together a critical mass of research expertise in these disciplines on both sides of the Atlantic with 6 leading European partners, 3 American and 2 Canadian partners. For the time being, large scale genomics projects have been conducted in parallel between North America and Europe, lacking in cooperative exchanges and interactions. The leading institutions coordinating these projects are partners of FoResTTraC to ensure that the current stateofart research is represented in the project. FoResTTraC will deliver a mapping of current research capacity and state of the art research in forest ecosystem genomics, a validated research roadmap regarding adaptation to climate change, a set of joint science plans, a collection of genomic resources preparing future whole genome sequencing of ecologically and economically important tree species. All project outcomes will be validated during the project by a wide group of stakeholders from Europe and North America and will be disseminated widely via the project website and key dissemination.


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 28, 2017) - Boughton Law is pleased to announce Conrad Nest as the newest lawyer to join the Vancouver-based business law firm. Mr. Nest adds his securities expertise to Boughton Law's range of legal services. Mr. Nest brings over 16 years worth of experience advising local and international clients. His securities practise includes a variety of matters related to cross-border mergers and acquisitions as well as equity and debt offering, including seed capital, venture capital financings, initial public offerings, reverse mergers, PIPES and secondary public offerings. He has worked with a diverse catalogue of clients, giving him a wealth of knowledge across a variety of sectors including mining, energy and technology-related fields. He also has significant experience advising clients across a wide range of matters including takeover bids, structuring business combinations, negotiating commercial agreements, and ongoing corporate governance and securities law compliance. "We are excited to welcome Conrad to the Boughton Law team - he is an exceptional lawyer and we look forward to working alongside him," said Jordan Dixon, Chief Financial and Operating Officer at Boughton Law. "Conrad brings with him an in-depth and broad knowledge of his field and significant experience across a wide range of matters, making him an asset to his team and clients." Mr. Nest earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of British Columbia and an LLB degree from the University of Victoria. He is the former editor of the University of Victoria Law Journal and is a member of the Washington State and British Columbia Bar Associations. "I am pleased to be joining Boughton Law and am enthusiastic about working alongside such an innovative and successful team," said Mr. Nest. "The firm has a reputation for delivering exceptional work and I look forward to contributing to their ongoing success." For more information about Boughton Law's team, please visit: www.boughtonlaw.com/people. Boughton Law is a Vancouver-based law firm servicing organizations and individuals for business, dispute resolution, personal and public sector related legal matters. The distinctly West Coast law firm offers a full range of legal services inside and out of British Columbia. Boughton Law uses innovation, collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking to help provide its clients with swift, practical, effective solutions to any number of different legal matters. Bound by innovation, not tradition, Boughton Law continues to redefine the way it practices law.


News Article | February 19, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

In five years time, a magnetic implant may deliver your personalized dose of medication. The device has been developed by researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and could help ease treatments for patients required to take many pills or undergo regular intravenous injections. At just six millimeters in diameter, the device is made of a silicone sponge and magnetic carbonyl iron particles encased in a round polymer. It’s designed to fit just under a patient’s skin. When activated by a magnet passed over the outside of the skin, the sponge deforms and its drug contents are dispersed through a small opening in the polymer casing. A major benefit beyond its minimal invasiveness is that, unlike similar devices, which need a power source to disperse medication, the UBC device needs only an external magnetic field. This can be used to control dose sizes through magnets of varying strengths. “We had a prior work on magnetic drug delivery device that contains a membrane and a drug reservoir,” Mu Chiao, a UBC professor of mechanical engineering who supervised the project, told Digital Trends. “It was quite challenging to make that device. So we thought about combining drug reservoirs and the membranes into one. Then we thought of a sponge.” More: Blood refuses to go anywhere near this new medical implant material The device was loaded with docetaxel, a prostate cancer drug, and administered to animal tissue in laboratory trials. The researchers demonstrated that the magnet was able to function and the drug didn’t lose its potency, proving effective against cancer cells after repeated uses. Though Chiao sad the implant is still at least five to ten years from commercialization, the researchers hope to target procedures that are close to the skin, such as long-term hormone treatment. A paper detailing the study was published online in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.


Connecting hospitality employers in Asia with job seekers around the world The first 100 job seekers successfully registering on the website each day during the Expo will receive welcome gifts (including Starbucks vouchers) HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Feb 21, 2017) - AsiaHospitalityCareers.com, a one-stop centralized website connecting employers in all sectors of the hospitality industry with job seekers around the world, will launch at the HKTDC Education and Careers Expo from 23-26 February, 2017 which will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Hong Kong (Booth No.: 1C-E23). The website (www.AsiaHospitalityCareers.com) is an industry specific job portal aiming to transform the recruitment process in the Asian hospitality field. THE FIRST JOB PORTAL BUILT FOR THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IN ASIA AsiaHospitalityCareers.com is the first job portal built specifically for Asia's fast growing hospitality industry -- including hotels, food and beverage outlets, cruise ships, theme parks, airlines, casinos, golf and other membership clubs, convention organizers, serviced apartments, and other travel and tourism companies -- with would-be job seekers around the world who are seeking related employment in this region. For job seekers, registration is completely free of charge. The job portal offers not only the latest hospitality job opportunities across Asia but also the latest industry news and developments in the region. "Our aim is to make a difference in the hospitality industry in Asia by bringing everyone together onto a single platform" says AsiaHospitalityCareers.com Co-Founder Danny Li. "Our site will save companies time by helping them find the right people and help job seekers anywhere find opportunities in Asia's expanding hospitality industry." HOW ASIAHOSPITALITYCAREERS.COM WORKS The website is simple to use and works in a myriad of ways. Potential job seekers can directly register and set up their accounts for free on the website. Once registered, job seekers can apply for job opportunities, set up email notifications for new jobs as they are posted that match their employment wishes and use the website as their personal job application system. Hospitality employers, in turn, can post job openings and directly receive applications from potential employees, browse through a database of potential job seekers and receive notifications for new suitable job seekers. The website is currently in English. Chinese language rollout is expected in the first quarter of 2017. "There has never been a dedicated website for job seekers looking for hospitality opportunities in Asia, instead job seekers had to utilize multiple platforms across different countries," says AsiaHospitalityCareers.com Co-Founder May Chan. "This site changes all that. We're a one-stop regional job portal where job seekers from anywhere can find opportunities in the industry and hospitality employers can find the right people." MOVING AHEAD WITH ASIAHOSPITALITYCAREERS.COM The site already features many leading hospitality employers such as Conrad Hotel, Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East, Dining Concepts, Dream Cruises, Genting Hong Kong, Harbour Grand Kowloon, Plaza Premium Group, Regal Hotels, Renaissance Harbour View Hotel, and Star Cruises. Companies in the hospitality industry from across the region are welcome to post their job openings, whether they are basic entry level service positions or management professionals. AsiaHospitalityCareers.com offers flexible job posting packages to its clients. The site will also reflect the ever-changing needs of both employers and job seekers by offering regular industry news updates and additional featured articles. "We have no vested interest in the recruitment process as we are not a recruitment agency," says Chan. "But we do want to make a difference and to help promote the hospitality industry to young job seekers. AsiaHospitalityCareers.com can be a game-changer for the hospitality industry and our launch at the upcoming HKTDC Education and Careers Expo announces that we've arrived." JOIN OUR SEMINAR ON SATURDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2017 TO LEARN MORE! AsiaHospitalityCareers.com will be hosting a panel discussion (in Cantonese) about the Hospitality Industry at the upcoming HKTDC Education and Careers Expo on Saturday -- 25 February 2017 from 11:45am-12:15pm at the Open Forum. "Looking for a Rewarding Career? Join the Hospitality Industry!" will be held in Cantonese only and will feature a panel of hospitality industry specialists and students as they discuss the virtues and rewards of joining the hospitality industry. Attendees will be able to learn the current state of the industry and potential benefits of such a career. A Q&A session will follow the panel discussion. Attendees joining our Seminar on Saturday -- 25 February 2017 will receive a welcome gift (including FREE Starbucks voucher). Additionally, the first 100 job seekers who visit Booth No.: 1C-E23 and successfully register on the AsiaHospitalityCareers.com website each day during the Expo will receive a welcome gift (including FREE Starbucks voucher). Subject to Terms and Conditions as detailed on AsiaHospitalityCareers.com Facebook page. MAY CHAN May Chan's role as the Co-Founder at AsiaHospitalityCareers.com follows years of experiences at international accounting firms, banks and recruitment agencies. She was most recently responsible for co-founding Advanz Group, a Hong Kong based boutique recruitment firm. The Hong Kong native is a qualified accountant who holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia in Canada. DANNY LI AsiaHospitalityCareers.com Co-Founder Danny Li has decades of international experience in the IT and telecoms industry across a broad spectrum of capacities. This includes serving as a technology advisor to numerous Fortune 500 companies and running large scale internet portals across the region, in addition to holding senior management positions at HongKong.com/Chinadotcom, pioneering Asian based internet companies. He also was responsible for co-founding an e-business software and services consultancy. The Hong Kong native holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the University of Technology, Sydney.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.gizmag.com

When it comes to conditions such as diabetes, which require patients to administer daily injections or take lots of pills, scientists are increasingly looking to drug-dispensing implants as a more convenient alternative. One of the latest such devices, developed at the University of British Columbia, is activated simply by passing a magnet over the skin. Created by a team supervised by Prof. Mu Chiao, the puck-shaped implant is known as a microspouter, and it measures just 6 mm in diameter. It consists of a round polymer body, at the center of which is a silicone sponge containing magnetic carbonyl iron particles. Liquid-form medication is injected into the sponge, and the device then gets implanted into the relevant part of the body. In order to get the microspouter to subsequently release a dose of medication (through a tiny opening in the polymer), a magnet just has to be held over the skin adjacent to it. This attracts the carbonyl iron particles, deforming the sponge and squeezing out some of the liquid. The amount of medication that's dispensed can be determined by using a magnet of a specific strength. The team has already tested the device on animal tissue, using it to deliver repeated doses of the prostate cancer drug docetaxel. It was noted that the medication stayed as effective as freshly-administered docetaxel, even after being stored in the implant over a period of time. "This could one day be used for administering painkillers, hormones, chemotherapy drugs and other treatments for a wide range of health conditions," says Chiao. "In the next few years we hope to be able to test it for long-term use and for viability in living models."


VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - February 24, 2017) - Traditional methods for reforestation use seeds from local tree populations. With the climate quickly changing, these local trees will be poorly adapted to new environments that not only have warmer temperatures, but also more disease pressures. And climate change isn't just bad for trees. It's also bad for the economic and environmental benefits they provide to Canada -- benefits like wood, jobs, habitat protection and carbon sequestration. Foresters have three options for dealing with this problem: reforest with the same species, but with trees that are better adapted to warmer climates; move species further north or to higher elevations; or select and breed trees that can better withstand climatic stresses or disease. All of these strategies can be successful, but only if we have scientific knowledge about which trees can better withstand a changing climate and the stresses that accompany it. Dr. Sally Aitken of the University of British Columbia (UBC) is leading a team, including Sam Yeaman of the University of Calgary and Richard Hamelin of UBC and Université Laval, that will use genomics to test the ability of trees from different populations to resist heat, cold, drought and disease, and identify the genes and genetic variation involved in climate adaptation. The ultimate goal of the project, valued at $5.8 million, is to develop better reforestation strategies for economically important tree species such as Douglas-fir and lodgepole pine, as well as western larch and jack pine. "Better matching trees with new climates will improve the health and productivity of planted forests. To understand the adaptation of trees to both climate and diseases, we will use genomic tools along with climate modeling and seedling experiments," says Dr. Aitken, a Professor in the Faculty of Forestry. "Our previous research has shown these approaches will give us these answers in a few years rather than in a few decades. The success of this research is dependent on our close collaboration with provincial tree breeders and forest managers." "Our ministry is pleased to be a major partner in the CoAdapTree research project, in collaboration with Dr. Aitken's team at UBC," said Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson. "Together, we are developing important tools to implement climate-based seed transfer. The B.C. government is committed to using the results of this research to improve forest management practices that will benefit all British Columbians." The project, CoAdapTree: Healthy trees for future climates, will provide recommendations for climate-based seed transfer policy to guide foresters in planting trees that will be healthy in new climates in western Canada. Climate-based seed transfer can result in up to 30% greater timber yields, with a proportional impact on the economy and employment, and will also sustain ecological and environmental benefits of forests. "The forestry industry contributed more than $20 billion to Canada's GDP in 2014, and directly and indirectly employed 288,000 people," says Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President, Sector Development at Genome BC. "We have been investing in forest research since 2001 and have funded an earlier phase of Dr. Aitken's genomics and climate-change research because this industry is critical to BC's economy and this work will make a major difference to future forest outcomes." The project was awarded through Genome Canada's 2015 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition Natural Resources and the Environment: Sector Challenges -- Genomic Solutions. Funders of this work include Genome Canada, Genome BC, Genome Alberta, Genome Quebec, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the Forest Genetics Council of BC, and Natural Resources Canada. It is also funded by forest companies including West Fraser, CanFor, and the Sinclair Group, partners in the Vernon Seed Orchard Company, as well as Western Forest Products Inc., and TimberWest Forest Corp. About Genome British Columbia: Genome British Columbia leads genomics innovation on Canada's West Coast and facilitates the integration of genomics into society. A recognized catalyst for government and industry, Genome BC invests in research, entrepreneurship and commercialization in life sciences to address challenges in key sectors such as health, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, agri-food, energy, mining and environment. Genome BC partners with many national and international public and private funding organizations to drive BC's bioeconomy. In addition to research, entrepreneurship and commercialization programs, Genome BC is committed to fostering an understanding and appreciation of the life sciences among teachers, students and the general public. www.genomebc.ca


News Article | March 2, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present the 2017 awards recognizing outstanding contributions to ecology in new discoveries, teaching, sustainability, diversity, and lifelong commitment to the profession during the Society's Annual Meeting in Portland, Ore. The awards ceremony will take place during the Scientific Plenary on Monday, August 7, at 8 AM in the Oregon Ballroom, Oregon Convention Center. Learn more about ESA awards on our home website. The Eminent Ecologist Award honors a senior ecologist for an outstanding body of ecological work or sustained ecological contributions of extraordinary merit. Soil ecologist Diana Wall, the founding director of the Colorado State University's School of Global Environmental Sustainability, is world-renowned for uncovering the importance of below-ground processes. Best known for her outstanding quarter century of research in the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica, one of the more challenging environments of the planet. Her research has revealed fundamental soil processes from deserts and forests to grasslands and agricultural ecosystems to New York City's Central Park. Dr. Wall's extensive collaborative work seeks to understand how the living component of soil contributes to ecosystem processes and human wellbeing--and to in turn uncover how humans impact soils, from local to global scales. In landmark studies, she revealed the key role of nematodes and other tiny animals as drivers of decomposition rates and carbon cycling. The biodiversity in soils, she found, influences ecosystem functioning and resilience to human disturbance, including climate change. She demonstrated that the biodiversity belowground can at times be decoupled from biodiversity aboveground. Her focus on nematodes in soils in very harsh environments, from the cold, dry Antarctic to hot, dry deserts, opened up a perspective on how life copes with extreme environments. She has a laudable record of publishing excellent papers in top-ranked scientific journals. Dr. Wall has played a vital role as an ecological leader, chairing numerous national and international committees and working groups and serving as president of the Ecological Society of America in 1999. She is a Fellow of ESA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Society of Nematologists. In 2013, she received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for her outspoken efforts as an ambassador for the environmental and economic importance of soils and ecology. Currently, she is scientific chair of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative, which works to advance soil biodiversity for use in policy and management of terrestrial ecosystems. Dr. Wall is well-respected in her role as mentor of young scientists, over several generations, and as a communicator of science outside the usual academic arenas. Odum Award recipients demonstrate their ability to relate basic ecological principles to human affairs through teaching, outreach, and mentoring activities.? Kathleen Weathers is a senior scientist and the G.Evelyn Hutchinson chair of ecology at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, where she focuses on freshwater ecosystems. For more than a decade, she has been dedicated to advancing bottom-up network science, creating training opportunities for graduate students and tools for citizen science engagement. Her efforts strive to equip the next generation of ecologists and managers with the skills needed to protect freshwater resources. Dr Weathers played a guiding role in the formation of the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON), and currently acts as co-chair. A part of this international grassroots collaboration she helped develop Lake Observer, a crowd-sourcing App that streamlines the way that researchers and citizen scientists record water quality observations in lakes, rivers, and streams. Dr. Weathers has made it a priority to mentor students and early-career scientists participating in GLEON, with an eye toward diversity, inclusion, and instruction. She helped empower GLEON's student association, which contributes meaningfully to governance and training within the broader network. She also spearheaded the development of the GLEON Fellows Program, a two-year graduate immersion in data analysis, international collaboration, effective communication, and team science. The GLEON Fellows Program has emerged as a model for training initiatives in macrosystem ecology, and will affect the ecological community positively for decades to come, as participants carry their training forward to other institutions and endeavors. The Distinguished Service Citation recognizes long and distinguished volunteer service to ESA, the scientific community, and the larger purpose of ecology in the public welfare. Debra Peters is the founding editor-in-chief of ESA's newest journal, Ecosphere, created in 2010 to offer a rapid path to publication for research reports from across the spectrum of ecological science, including interdisciplinary studies that may have had difficulty finding a home within the scope of the existing ESA family of journals. In her hands the online-only, open-access journal has claimed a successful niche in the ecological publications landscape, expanding to publish over 400 manuscripts in 2016. Dr. Peters, an ecologist for the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research service's (USDA-ARS) Jornada Experimental Range and lead principal investigator for the Jornada Basin Long Term Ecological Research program in Las Cruces, New Mexico, has served on the editorial boards of ESA's journals Ecological Applications, Ecology and Ecological Monographs. She chaired the society's Rangeland Section, was a founding member and chair of the Southwest Chapter, and has served as member-at-large on the Governing Board. As program chair for the 98th Annual Meeting of the society, she inaugurated the wildly popular Ignite talks, which give speakers the opportunity to present conceptual talks that do not fit into the standard research presentation format. Dr. Peters has greatly contributed to the broader research enterprise as senior advisor to the chief scientist at the USDA, and as a member of the National Ecological Observatory Network's (NEON) Board of Directors. She has provided this quite amazing array of services in support of the society and her profession while maintaining an outstanding level of research productivity and scientific leadership in landscape-level, cross-scale ecosystem ecology. Many of her more than 100 research publication have been cited more than 100 times. Her fine record of research led to her election as a Fellow of ESA and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In all respects, Debra Peters exemplifies distinguished service to the ESA, and to science. ESA's Commitment to Human Diversity in Ecology award recognizes long-standing contributions of an individual towards increasing the diversity of future ecologists through mentoring, teaching, or outreach. Gillian Bowser, research scientist in Colorado State University's Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, is honored for her joyful and successful recruitment and retention of under-represented students to the study of ecology, to public service in support of the natural world, and to empowerment of women and minorities worldwide. The Cooper Award honors the authors of an outstanding publication in the field of geobotany, physiographic ecology, plant succession or the distribution of plants along environmental gradients. William S. Cooper was a pioneer of physiographic ecology and geobotany, with a particular interest in the influence of historical factors, such as glaciations and climate history, on the pattern of contemporary plant communities across landforms. University of Waterloo, Ontario professor Andrew Trant and colleagues at the University of Victoria and the Hakai Institute in British Columbia revealed a previously unappreciated historical influence on forest productivity: long-term residence of First Nations people. Counter to a more familiar story of damage to ecosystems inflicted by people and their intensive use of resources, the activities of native people on the Central Coast of British Columbia enhanced the fertility of the soil around habitation sites, leading to greater productivity of the dominant tree species, the economically and culturally valuable western redcedar (Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Don). Through a combination of airborne remote sensing and on-the-ground field work, the authors showed that forest height, width, canopy cover, and greenness increased on and near shell middens. They presented the first documentation of influence on forest productivity by the daily life activities of traditional human communities. The Mercer Award recognizes an outstanding and recently-published ecological research paper by young scientists. Biological invasions, and migrations of native species in response to climate change, are pressing areas of interest in this time of global change. Fragmentation of the landscape by natural and human-made barriers slows the velocity of spread, but it is not known how patchy habitat quality might influence the potential for evolution to accelerate invasions. Jennifer Williams, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, and colleagues implemented a creative experimental design using the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana that allowed them to disentangle ecological and evolutionary dynamics during population expansion. Some plant populations were allowed to evolve, while others were continually reset to their original genetic composition. The authors convincingly demonstrate that rapid evolution can influence the speed at which populations spread, especially in fragmented landscapes. The Sustainability Science Award recognizes the authors of the scholarly work that makes the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences. Sustainability challenges like air pollution, biodiversity loss, climate change, energy and food security, disease spread, species invasion, and water shortages and pollution are often studied, and managed, separately, although they the problems they present are interconnected. Jianguo Liu and colleagues provide a framework for addressing global sustainability challenges from a coupled human and natural systems approach that incorporates both socioeconomic and environmental factors. They review several recent papers that have quantified at times conflicting efforts to provide ecosystem services, when these efforts are examined in a global perspective. The authors argue for the need to quantify spillover systems and feedbacks and to integrate analyses over multiple spatial and temporal scales. This will likely require the development of new analytical frameworks both to understand the social ecological mechanisms involved and to inform management and policy decisions for global sustainability. The Innovation in Sustainability Science Award recognizes the authors of a peer-reviewed paper published in the past five years exemplifying leading-edge work on solution pathways to sustainability challenges. One of the biggest challenges facing development of effective policy to address sustainability issues is that the concepts and vocabulary used by scientists to define and promote sustainability rarely translate into effective policy, because they do not include measures of success. This challenge is particularly apparent in the concept of stability and resilience, terms which are frequently used in policy statements and have long been the subject of empirical and theoretical research in ecology, but for which there are no easily defined and quantified metrics. Ian Donohue and colleagues argue that much of the fault for this disconnect lies with the academic community. They summarize and analyze a number of examples to support their claim that ecologists have taken a one-dimensional approach to quantifying stability and disturbance when these are actually multi-dimensional processes. They argue that this has led to confused communication of the nature of stability, which contributes to the lack of adoption of clear policies. They propose three areas where future research is needed and make clear recommendations for better integrating the multidimensional nature of stability into research, policy and actions that should become a priority for all involved in sustainability science. The Whittaker Award recognizes an ecologist with an earned doctorate and an outstanding record of contributions in ecology who is not a U.S. citizen and who resides outside the United States. Petr Pyšek, the chair of the Department of Invasion Ecology at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, is honored for his pioneering and insightful work in invasion ecology. Dr. Pyšek is editor-in-chief of Preslia (Journal of the Czech Botanical Society) and serves on the editorial boards of Biological Invasions, Diversity and Distributions, Folia Geobotanica, and Perspectives on Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. The Shreve award supplies $1,000-2,000 to support ecological research by graduate or undergraduate student members of ESA in the hot deserts of North America (Sonora, Mohave, Chihuahua, and Vizcaino). Daniel Winkler, a PhD student with Travis Huxman at University of California Irvine, studies the invasion of Sahara mustard (Brassica tournefortii) in the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan deserts. His dissertation focuses on determining the source populations of Sahara mustard and whether plasticity in functional traits is allowing the species to spread. Funds from the Forrest Shreve Student Research Fund will be used to process samples for leaf stable isotopes and elemental stoichiometry, allowing for a comparison of functional traits indicative of local adaptation and the species' plasticity. Daniel was a National Park Service Young Leaders in Climate Change Fellow and a NSF EAPSI Research Fellow. Learn more about the August 7-12, 2017 ESA Annual Meeting on the meeting website: http://esa. ESA welcomes attendance from members of the press and waives registration fees for reporters and public information officers. To apply, please contact ESA Communications Officer Liza Lester directly at llester@esa.org. The Ecological Society of America (ESA), founded in 1915, is the world's largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 10,000 member Society publishes five journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society's Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at http://www. .


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Here are summaries of research to be presented by CIFAR fellows at the 2017 AAAS meeting in Boston, MA from Feb. 16-19. CIFAR Humans & the Microbiome Program Co-Director Janet Rossant (Hospital for Sick Children) will moderate a discussion on the microbes that inhabit humans -- collectively called the microbiome. Program Co-Director Brett Finlay (University of British Columbia) will speak on the role of the microbiome in early childhood. Senior Fellow Eran Elinav (Weizmann Institute of Science) will delve into how genes, diet and microbiomes interact. Ana Duggan of Senior Fellow Hendrik Poinar's lab (McMaster University) will describe how they reconstruct ancient genomes and microbiomes. CIFAR Azrieli Brain, Mind & Consciousness Senior Fellow Sheena Josselyn (Hospital for Sick Children) brings together leaders in the field of memory research, approaching the expansive question of the temporal component of memory using unique tools. Josselyn recently discovered the neural rules for separating emotional memories across the temporal context in the amygdala, and will discuss how this process may go awry with psychiatric conditions. Eran Elinav, a Senior Fellow in CIFAR's Humans & the Microbiome program, will answer questions about how the microbiome affects humans (especially in regards to their diet) as well as how it can affect entire societies--shaping them through both common diseases and pandemics. A quantum mechanical representation of information could enable revolutionary technologies, from fast computation to unbreakable encryption. CIFAR Senior Fellow in the Quantum Information Science program Michele Mosca (University of Waterloo) will discuss cybersecurity in an era with quantum computers. Associate Fellow in the Quantum Information Science program Scott Aaronson (University of Texas) will speak on how quantum research is deepening our understanding of physics and mathematics. CIFAR creates knowledge that is transforming our world. Established in 1982, the Institute brings together interdisciplinary groups of extraordinary researchers from around the globe to address questions and challenges of importance to the world. Our networks help support the growth of research leaders and are catalysts for change in business, government and society. CIFAR is generously supported by the governments of Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, Canadian and international partners, as well as individuals, foundations and corporations.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Chronic pain sufferers and those taking mental health meds would rather turn to cannabis instead of their prescribed opioid medication, according to new research by the University of British Columbia and University of Victoria. "This study is one of the first to track medical cannabis use under the new system of licensed producers, meaning that all participants had physician authorization to access cannabis in addition to their prescription medicines," says UBC Assoc. Prof. Zach Walsh, co-author of the study. The study tracked more than 250 patients with prescribed medical cannabis--people treated for conditions such as chronic pain, mental health and gastrointestinal issues. Overall, 63 per cent of respondents reported using cannabis instead of their prescription drugs, which included opioids (to treat pain), benzodiazepines (sedatives) and anti-depressants. Study lead Philippe Lucas is vice-president of Patient Research and Access at Tilray, a federally authorized medical cannabis production and research company, and a graduate fellow at the University of Victoria Centre for Addictions Research of BC. Lucas suggests the main reasons for the switch to cannabis from prescribed meds is due to reduced side effects, better symptom management and a feeling that cannabis is safer than prescription drugs. Walsh goes on to suggest cannabis may have an important role to play in addressing the problematic use of pharmaceutical medications such as opioids. In 2001, Canada became one of the first nations to develop a program to allow access to cannabis for medical purposes. As of August 2016 more than 30 federally authorized licensed producers of cannabis provided product to more than 65,000 patients. "Further research into how well cannabis works compared to the accepted front-line treatments is warranted," says Walsh. "Additionally, long-term research into the potential impact of the cannabis substitution on the quality of patient's lives is ongoing." The study, published in International Journal of Drug Policy, was funded by Tilray.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

University of British Columbia researchers have developed a magnetic drug implant--the first of its kind in Canada--that could offer an alternative for patients struggling with numerous pills or intravenous injections. The device, a silicone sponge with magnetic carbonyl iron particles wrapped in a round polymer layer, measures just six millimetres in diameter. The drug is injected into the device and then surgically implanted in the area being treated. Passing a magnet over the patient's skin activates the device by deforming the sponge and triggering the release of the drug into surrounding tissue through a tiny opening. "Drug implants can be safe and effective for treating many conditions, and magnetically controlled implants are particularly interesting because you can adjust the dose after implantation by using different magnet strengths. Many other implants lack that feature," said study author Ali Shademani, a PhD student in the biomedical engineering program at UBC. Actively controlling drug delivery is particularly relevant for conditions like diabetes, where the required dose and timing of insulin varies from patient to patient, said co-author John K. Jackson, a research scientist in UBC's faculty of pharmaceutical sciences. "This device lets you release the actual dose that the patient needs when they need it, and it's sufficiently easy to use that patients could administer their own medication one day without having to go to a hospital," said Jackson. The researchers tested their device on animal tissue in the lab using the prostate cancer drug docetaxel. They found that it was able to deliver the drug on demand even after repeated use. The drug also produced an effect on cancer cells comparable to that of freshly administered docetaxel, proving that drugs stored in the device stay effective. Mu Chiao, Shademani's supervisor and a professor of mechanical engineering at UBC, said the team is working on refining the device and narrowing down the conditions for its use. "This could one day be used for administering painkillers, hormones, chemotherapy drugs and other treatments for a wide range of health conditions. In the next few years we hope to be able to test it for long-term use and for viability in living models," said Chiao. "Active regulation of on-demand drug delivery by magnetically triggerable microspouters" was recently published online in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Throughout the past 15 years, Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT), the nation's only nonprofit dedicated exclusively to cell and gene therapies for cancer, has been an initial funder for early cancer cell, gene and immunotherapy research in North America. ACGT has provided nearly $27 million to cancer research and treatment. This year, ACGT is proud to announce two new scientists that are recipients of the ACGT Young Investigator Grants: Marco Gallo, PhD, of the University of Calgary and Greg Delgoffe, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh. ACGT is supporting Dr. Gallo's research into the cellular anomalies in glioblastoma brain cancer and Dr. Delgoffe's research into metabolically reprogramming tumor-specific T cells for treating solid tumors including melanoma. Dr. Marco Gallo is an assistant professor of Physiology & Pharmacology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Calgary, Cummings School of Medicine in Alberta, Canada. Dr. Gallo's research focuses on the cellular anomalies in brain tumors, with a special emphasis on glioblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in adults with a survival rate of only 13 months. One of the reasons treatments are often ineffective is the Machiavellian cellular structure within the tumor. A small population of cancer cells, called cancer stem cells, successfully evade traditional therapies. Dr.Gallo's team has learned that cancer stem cells have regions of highly compacted DNA caused by low levels of a specific protein. His research is designed to alter the cancer-specific DNA architecture by introducing an engineered protein, which can be directed to any site in the human genome and will be used to unravel the tumor. Pre-clinical studies will permit an analysis of both immediate efficacy and lasting affect. Dr. Gallo earned a PhD in medical genetics at the University of British Columbia and a BS in molecular biology and biochemistry at Simon Fraser University, both in Canada. He has published six primary authorship papers since beginning his post-doctoral fellowship in 2010. "In essence, our technology will enable us to perform a new kind of gene therapy, by directly targeting DNA structure, which is the ultimate determinant of cancer stem cell behavior," said Dr. Marco Gallo, ACGT Young Investigator. Dr. Greg Delgoffe is an assistant professor of Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and member of the Tumor Microenvironment Center at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), partner with UPMC CancerCenter. Recent clinical successes have revealed that the immune system can be successfully harnessed to fight cancer. Various strategies are utilized, including enhancing a patient's 'natural' response to cancer as well as 'redirecting' a patient's immune cells, T cells, to the tumor using genetic engineering. T cell therapies have shown remarkable progress in the treatment of hematological malignancies but have yet to show dramatic success in solid tumors. Dr. Delgoffe's research focuses on how T cell metabolism might be bolstered through gene therapy to promote activity in the tumor microenvironment. Dr. Delgoffe's lab, building on basic observations that T cells are exquisitely sensitive to metabolic perturbations in their surroundings, has shown that in solid tumors, cancer cells evade immune responses in part by depriving the T cell of the ability to generate energy, and depleting the local environment of nutrients. Dr. Delgoffe's team will utilize genetic engineering to metabolically 'reprogram' tumor-specific T cells to fight cancer for an extended period of time. The goal is to generate super-soldier T cells that can be redirected to the tumor site, while bolstered metabolically to support long-term and durable responses. His research will explore the use of genetically modified T cells as a monotherapy against anti-PD1-resistant melanoma. His next goal will be to combine adoptive cell therapy with PD-1 blockade to learn if this combination is more effective. Dr. Delgoffe earned a PhD at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a BS in Biomedical Sciences at Western Michigan University and has published several papers in the field of immune metabolism and tumor immunology. In 2015 he was selected as a Kimmel Scholar by the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research. "Our work has the potential to transform the way we reprogram therapeutic T cells, such that they have increased metabolic fitness and longevity to promoting durable and effective regression in cancer patients," noted Dr. Greg Delgoffe, ACGT Young Investigator. ACGT has a 15-year history of funding innovative cancer research. Drs. Gallo and Delgoffe represent ACGT's 51st and 52nd grant recipients, including 16 clinical translation grants. This is particularly exciting given ACGT's commitment to contributing 100 percent of donations directly to research. Additional breakthroughs carried out by ACGT grantees, like Dr. Carl June at the University of Pennsylvania and his work successfully treating leukemia through cancer gene therapy, have been touted in recent national documentaries aired on PBS and HBO. These trials are showing a 90 percent remission rate of children and adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia after participating in a personalized cellular therapy trial. ACGT-funded work is also attracting increasing attention from the pharmaceutical industry, which is swiftly discovering the potential of cell and gene therapies. "ACGT has become a leader in funding early-stage breakthrough cancer cell, gene and immunotherapy research" said John Walter, CEO and president of ACGT. "ACGT's Young Investigator grants are an opportunity for talented young scientists to receive funding for research that might be overlooked by the NIH or other backers because it is deemed 'too early.' We at ACGT see this research in another light -- by backing Young Investigators, we can truly make an impact on how cancer is treated and hopefully play a part in making it a manageable disease." Established in 2001, ACGT is the nation's only non-profit dedicated exclusively to cell and gene therapy treatments for all types of cancer. One hundred percent of contributions go directly to research. ACGT has funded 52 grants in the U.S. and Canada since its founding in 2001 by Barbara Netter and her late husband Edward, to conduct and accelerate critically needed innovative research. Since its inception, ACGT has awarded 36 grants to Young Investigators and 16 grants to Clinical Investigators, totaling nearly $27 million in funding. ACGT is located at 96 Cummings Point Road, Stamford, Connecticut 06902; 203-358-5055. To learn more, visit acgtfoundation.org or join the ACGT community on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube at @acgtfoundation.


CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vedanta Biosciences, pioneering the development of a novel class of therapies for immune and infectious diseases based on rationally designed consortia of bacteria derived from the human microbiome, today announced that it has entered into translational medicine collaborations with Stanford University School of Medicine and Leiden University Medical Center. The relationships will focus on food allergies in children and on patients with C. difficile infection or graft-versus-host disease, respectively. Both collaborations seek to better understand patterns in the microbiome that may potentially inform clinical responses to therapy. Under the terms of the agreement with Stanford, Vedanta will work in collaboration with Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD, Director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University, to analyze the potential connection between the gut microbiome and responses to oral immunotherapies in children with food allergies. With Leiden University, Vedanta will generate clinical data from interventional studies of fecal transplantation in C. difficile patients treated with donors from the Netherlands Donor Feces Bank, as well as clinical data from patients with graft-versus-host disease, in collaboration with Ed Kuijper, MD, PhD, Professor of Medical Microbiology at the Leiden University Medical Center and co-chair of the Netherlands Donor Feces Bank. The clinical data will feed into Vedanta’s leading platform for discovery, development, and GMP manufacturing of rationally designed bacterial consortia drugs. “We’re excited to announce our relationships with Stanford and Leiden University,” said Bruce Roberts, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Vedanta Biosciences. “Collaborations with leading academic centers are an important part of our strategy to support our drug development efforts with human data and with careful science.” About Vedanta Biosciences Vedanta Biosciences is pioneering development of a novel class of therapies for immune and infectious diseases based on rationally designed consortia of bacteria derived from the human microbiome, with clinical trials expected to begin in the first half of 2017. Founded by PureTech Health (PureTech Health plc, PRTC.L) and a group of world-renowned experts in immunology and microbiology, Vedanta Biosciences is a leader in the microbiome field with capabilities to discover, develop and manufacture drugs based on live bacterial consortia. Leveraging its proprietary technology platform and the expertise of its team of scientific co-founders, Vedanta Biosciences has isolated a vast collection of human-associated bacterial strains and characterized how the immune system recognizes and responds to these microbes. This work has led to the identification of human commensal bacteria that induce a range of immune responses – including induction of regulatory T cells and Th17 cells, among others – as well as the characterization of novel molecular mechanisms of microbial-host communication. These advances have been published in leading peer-reviewed journals including Science, Nature (multiple), Cell and Nature Immunology. Vedanta Biosciences has harnessed these biological insights as well as data from clinical translational collaborations to generate a pipeline of programs in development for infectious disease, autoimmune disease, inflammation and immune-oncology. The clinical potential of therapeutic manipulation of the microbiome has been validated by multiple randomized, controlled trials in infectious disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Vedanta Biosciences’ scientific co-founders have pioneered the fields of innate immunity, Th17 and regulatory T cell biology, and include Dr. Ruslan Medzhitov (Professor of Immunobiology at Yale), Dr. Alexander Rudensky (tri-institutional Professor at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute, the Rockefeller University and Cornell University), Dr. Dan Littman (Professor of Molecular Immunology at NYU), Dr. Brett Finlay (Professor at the University of British Columbia) and Dr. Kenya Honda (Professor, School of Medicine, Keio University). Vedanta is backed by PureTech Health, Seventure, Invesco Asset Management, and Rock Springs Capital. Forward Looking Statement This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company's future prospects, developments and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the regulatory filings for PureTech Health plc. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law and regulatory requirements, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.24-7pressrelease.com

VICTORIA, BC, February 23, 2017-- Dr. Melvyn Best has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.An award-winning geophysicist distinguished by the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Dr. Best brings with him more than 45 years of experience in his field. In his career, he has worked in both research and academic capacities, where he has demonstrated an expertise in all areas of earth and ocean sciences, geology, geophysics and theoretical physics. Today, he demonstrates his skillset as the owner and geophysical consultant for Bemex Consulting International, which he established in 1997. Dr. Best simultaneously served as an environmental geophysicist for Lockheed Martin for several years and previously was senior research scientist and director of the Pacific Geoscience Centre at the Geological Survey of Canada, geophysical advisor for Teknica Resource Development Ltd., and head of non-seismic research for the Royal Dutch Shell Exploration and Production Laboratory. Additionally, Dr. Best has excelled in his work as an adjunct professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Calgary, adjunct professor of earth and ocean sciences at the University of Victoria, and visiting lecturer and research associate for the physics department at McGIll University. Although he has stepped away from his teaching responsibilities in recent years, Dr. Best continues to speak at seminars and workshops at universities around the country.Dr. Best's interest in geology began at age four - he loved the outdoors, rocks and minerals. Later, he realized that combining his love of the outdoors with his interests and skills would be the key to a successful career and enjoyable life. To prepare for his career, he earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970, a Master of Science in physics from the University of British Columbia in 1966 and a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and physics from the University of British Columbia in 1965. To further support his foundation of knowledge, Dr. Best pursued and achieved certification by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. As he progressed in his career, Dr. Best established his reputation of excellence through his professional memberships with the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, and his involvement with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.To share his expertise with his industry, Dr. Best has authored several resource texts, including "Resistivity Mapping and Electromagnetic Imaging," chapter 200 for "Mineral Resources, Origin, Exploration and Exploitation, Volume II in Treatise on Geophysics," and "Development and Exploitation Scale Geophysics." As he looks to the future, Dr. Best intends to continue in his work with Bemex Consulting International while taking on new speaking and lecturing opportunities as they arise.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lantronix, Inc. (NASDAQ:LTRX), a global provider of secure data access and management solutions for Internet of Things (IoT) and information technology (IT) assets, announced today that Shahram Mehraban has been appointed as vice president of marketing, effective February 27, 2017. “We believe that Shahram’s more than 20 years of global marketing experience in the networking and communications industry will make him a key contributor in expanding our marketing efforts, especially as we pursue our goal of moving up the IoT value chain,” said Jeffrey Benck, Lantronix president and CEO. "We are excited and pleased to have someone with Shahram’s experience, skills, and industry relationships joining the Lantronix team.” "Lantronix has a solid reputation for delivering market leading solutions that address IoT connectivity, security, and manageability issues,” said Mehraban. “I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with Jeff and the rest of the Lantronix team to help them deliver more comprehensive IoT solutions and take our position in the market place to the next level.” Most recently, Mehraban served as marketing director and chief of staff of the industrial and energy solutions division of Intel’s IoT Group, where he played a key role in expanding the company’s industry visibility in key IoT verticals, and served as part of the IoT executive team that delivered innovative end to end solutions for the Industrial IoT market. During his 17 year tenure at Intel, Mehraban served in various business development, product and strategic marketing, and general management roles. Prior to joining Intel, he served in various marketing leadership roles at Trillium Digital Systems (acquired by Intel), Nokia, Glenayre Technologies, and Motorola.  Mehraban earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from Gustavson School of Business at University of Victoria. On March 1, 2017, the company will grant Mr. Mehraban an inducement award of 120,000 nonqualified stock options (NQSO) in connection with the commencement of his employment. The shares subject to the inducement award will vest according to the following schedule: one-fourth of the shares shall vest on the first anniversary of the grant date and the remaining options shall vest ratably each month thereafter for a period of 36 months. The grant of the NQSO was approved by the compensation committee of the company's board of directors, which committee is comprised solely of independent directors, as an inducement material to Mr. Mehraban entering into employment with the company in accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). Lantronix, Inc. is a global provider of secure data access and management solutions for Internet of Things (IoT) and information technology (IT) assets. Our mission is to be the leading supplier of IoT gateways that enable companies to dramatically simplify the creation, deployment, and management of IoT projects while providing secure access to data for applications and people. With more than two decades of experience in creating robust machine to machine (M2M) technologies, Lantronix is an innovator in enabling our customers to build new business models and realize the possibilities of the Internet of Things. Our connectivity solutions are deployed inside millions of machines serving a wide range of industries, including data center, medical, security, industrial, transportation, retail, financial, environmental and government. Forward-Looking Statements This news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements concerning our sales expansion efforts and  our product development efforts. These forward-looking statements are intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We have based our forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about trends affecting our business and industry and other future events. Although we do not make forward-looking statements unless we believe we have a reasonable basis for doing so, we cannot guarantee their accuracy. Forward-looking statements are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause our results or experiences, or future business, financial condition, results of operations or performance, to differ materially from our historical results or those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement contained in this news release. Some of the risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements are described in “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, as well as in our other filings with the SEC. In addition, actual results may differ as a result of additional risks and uncertainties of which we are currently unaware or which we do not currently view as material to our business. For these reasons, investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements we make speak only as of the date on which they are made. We expressly disclaim any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements after the date hereof to conform such statements to actual results or to changes in our opinions or expectations, except as required by applicable law or the rules of the NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC. If we do update or correct any forward-looking statements, investors should not conclude that we will make additional updates or corrections.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lantronix, Inc. (NASDAQ:LTRX), a global provider of secure data access and management solutions for Internet of Things (IoT) and information technology (IT) assets, announced today that Shahram Mehraban has been appointed as vice president of marketing, effective February 27, 2017. “We believe that Shahram’s more than 20 years of global marketing experience in the networking and communications industry will make him a key contributor in expanding our marketing efforts, especially as we pursue our goal of moving up the IoT value chain,” said Jeffrey Benck, Lantronix president and CEO. "We are excited and pleased to have someone with Shahram’s experience, skills, and industry relationships joining the Lantronix team.” "Lantronix has a solid reputation for delivering market leading solutions that address IoT connectivity, security, and manageability issues,” said Mehraban. “I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with Jeff and the rest of the Lantronix team to help them deliver more comprehensive IoT solutions and take our position in the market place to the next level.” Most recently, Mehraban served as marketing director and chief of staff of the industrial and energy solutions division of Intel’s IoT Group, where he played a key role in expanding the company’s industry visibility in key IoT verticals, and served as part of the IoT executive team that delivered innovative end to end solutions for the Industrial IoT market. During his 17 year tenure at Intel, Mehraban served in various business development, product and strategic marketing, and general management roles. Prior to joining Intel, he served in various marketing leadership roles at Trillium Digital Systems (acquired by Intel), Nokia, Glenayre Technologies, and Motorola.  Mehraban earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from Gustavson School of Business at University of Victoria. On March 1, 2017, the company will grant Mr. Mehraban an inducement award of 120,000 nonqualified stock options (NQSO) in connection with the commencement of his employment. The shares subject to the inducement award will vest according to the following schedule: one-fourth of the shares shall vest on the first anniversary of the grant date and the remaining options shall vest ratably each month thereafter for a period of 36 months. The grant of the NQSO was approved by the compensation committee of the company's board of directors, which committee is comprised solely of independent directors, as an inducement material to Mr. Mehraban entering into employment with the company in accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). Lantronix, Inc. is a global provider of secure data access and management solutions for Internet of Things (IoT) and information technology (IT) assets. Our mission is to be the leading supplier of IoT gateways that enable companies to dramatically simplify the creation, deployment, and management of IoT projects while providing secure access to data for applications and people. With more than two decades of experience in creating robust machine to machine (M2M) technologies, Lantronix is an innovator in enabling our customers to build new business models and realize the possibilities of the Internet of Things. Our connectivity solutions are deployed inside millions of machines serving a wide range of industries, including data center, medical, security, industrial, transportation, retail, financial, environmental and government. Forward-Looking Statements This news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements concerning our sales expansion efforts and  our product development efforts. These forward-looking statements are intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We have based our forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about trends affecting our business and industry and other future events. Although we do not make forward-looking statements unless we believe we have a reasonable basis for doing so, we cannot guarantee their accuracy. Forward-looking statements are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause our results or experiences, or future business, financial condition, results of operations or performance, to differ materially from our historical results or those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement contained in this news release. Some of the risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements are described in “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, as well as in our other filings with the SEC. In addition, actual results may differ as a result of additional risks and uncertainties of which we are currently unaware or which we do not currently view as material to our business. For these reasons, investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements we make speak only as of the date on which they are made. We expressly disclaim any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements after the date hereof to conform such statements to actual results or to changes in our opinions or expectations, except as required by applicable law or the rules of the NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC. If we do update or correct any forward-looking statements, investors should not conclude that we will make additional updates or corrections.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

OTTAWA, ON - Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 10 a.m. ET - BioCanRx, and its partners, today announced funding for 16 collaborative research projects in novel therapies to cure cancer including research aimed at developing clinical Chimeric Antigen Receptor modified T cell (CAR-T) manufacturing capabilities in Canada. CAR-Ts are a powerful new tool for treating cancer and have begun to provide hope to patients without other therapeutic options to treat and cure their disease. CAR-T cell therapy is on the cutting edge of cancer therapeutics and has shown promise in paediatric and adult patients with certain blood cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoma. CAR-T is a promising technology, involving sophisticated manufacturing and expertise. Canada has the basic laboratory infrastructure in place and this new funding will help to fully develop the expertise and capacity required to deliver this technology. BioCanRx is investing in research projects advancing several innovative engineered T cell designs, which will further benefit from this infrastructure and capacity investment, and accelerate delivery of these novel concepts into clinical testing in Canada. This Canadian capacity development will pave the way to enable Canadian patients to access this new technology, and will give Canadian researchers the necessary resources to deliver on their innovations in CAR-T and other engineered T cell platforms. This CAR-T manufacturing initiative is unique in that the Canadian academic community recognized a gap and stepped up to drive Canadian solutions to meet grassroots efforts taking place in the U.S., China and Europe. BioCanRx has established an extensive network of investigators and core facilities across the country and is well positioned to bring CAR-T cell treatment to patients in Canada who are in dire need. Leading this capacity building for CAR-T therapies in Canada are Dr. Robert Holt, distinguished scientist, BC Cancer Agency, Head of Sequencing and Head of Quality Systems, Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, Professor, Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia and Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University; Dr. John Bell, Sr. Scientist, Centre for Innovative Cancer Research, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Professor, Departments of Medicine and Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Ottawa and Scientific Director, BioCanRx; John Webb, Scientist and Project Leader, BC Cancer Agency Deeley Research Centre and Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Victoria; Brad Nelson, Director, Deeley Research Centre, BC Cancer Agency among other researchers. To help ensure CAR-T cell therapy is brought to patients safely and effectively, BioCanRx is funding a companion Clinical, Social, and Economic Impact project. It will review the existing base of knowledge and involve patient consultation to design a rigorous CAR-T clinical trial protocol ready to implement once the products are ready for a phase 1 clinical trial. Leading this project are Dr. Manoj Lalu, Associate Scientist, Assistant Professor, Clinical Epidemiology and Regenerative Medicine Programs, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Ottawa; Dr. Dean Fergusson, Director and Senior Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program, OHRI; Dr. Natasha Kekre, Assistant Professor, Associate Scientist, Hematologist, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, OHRI, The Ottawa Hospital, University of Ottawa among other researchers. Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and is responsible for 30% of all deaths. Two out of five Canadians (45% of men and 42% of women) are expected to develop cancer during their lifetimes. One out of four Canadians (29% of men and 24% of women) is expected to die from cancer. (Canadian Cancer Society) Biotherapeutics - including oncolytic viruses, adoptive cell therapy and therapeutic antibodies - are among the most promising cancer therapies to emerge in the last decade and are often referred to as a fourth pillar for cancer treatment. BioCanRx is building a research portfolio of these immunotherapies but what sets it apart is its commitment to combination therapies. Combining biotherapeutics approaches can amplify effectiveness and result in significantly better outcomes compared to the benefits of an individual biotherapy used on its own. Today's funding announcement will support 16 national research teams comprised of researchers, clinicians and trainees working to find improved treatment options and outcomes for cancer patients. BioCanRx's funded partnerships will strengthen the coordination of research and resources in Canada to further develop a variety of cancer immunotherapy platforms. The research proposed could lead to significantly better outcomes for cancer patients and, potentially, curative approaches to their cancer. "CAR-T technology is a new and exciting development that's really taken the world by storm. We know now that by taking T cells out of patients, and reengineering them as it were in a test tube, we can get them to have dramatic responses in some kinds of cancer patients. Unfortunately, in Canada, we don't have this technology available to us to be used widely across the country. So this funding will allow us to be in a position to manufacture this kind of product ourselves, get our own scientists engaged in being able to actually test their ideas, exploiting this new technology and, we hope, to bring something to the Canadian people much faster than it would be otherwise." "BioCanRx is committed to investing in collaborative research projects aimed at improving the health and lives of thousands of Canadians currently living with cancer. Collaboration is critical to ensuring better use of study results and providing a measurable difference. We are confident that this research will address existing gaps in moving this platform forward." "The impact cancer is having on our population is devastating. While we have made enormous progress in treating cancer, much more needs to be understood about better ways to fight this disease and ultimately cure those afflicted. BioCanRx is committed to supporting research excellence and its translation into health benefits for Canadians. We hope to one day announce that there has been a significant reduction in deaths related to cancer thanks to research support by our network and partners. "My congratulations to the sixteen national teams receiving funding through BioCanRx's research program. By advancing the field of immunotherapies, your work will ultimately be able to support innovative and promising new cancer treatments for Canadians." "Canadian scientists are world-renowned for their research into how the body's immune system can be used to treat cancer. This emerging field of medical research has the potential to save lives as well as improve them. It also creates better jobs and opportunities for Canadians working in the life-sciences sector. The funding being allocated to Canadian research teams through BioCanRx will allow this promising research to move beyond laboratories and into clinics, where it can actually make a difference in people's lives. That's how innovation makes a better Canada." The Honourable Navdeep Bains Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development "The use of CAR-T cells represents a significant and very recent advancement in cancer treatment and has become a powerful tool for converting incurable into curable. Unfortunately, the use of this therapy in Canada has been limited by our access to the product, forcing cancer patients to travel far and wide, usually outside Canada, to access this therapy in US clinical trials. A home grown Canadian solution is long overdue - BioCanRx has taken a bold step in ensuring this innovative new therapy is available for Canadians in Canada." Patrick Sullivan Childhood cancer advocate, President, Team Finn Foundation and founding member of Ac2orn (Advocacy for Canadian Oncology Research Network) The BioCanRx network is accelerating to the clinic Canada's most promising and innovative cancer biotherapeutics designed to save lives and enable a better quality of life. BioCanRx invests in Canadian innovations and the best the field has to offer, always looking for a clear path to the clinic for the benefit of patients. BioCanRx works in partnership with industry, charities and other agencies to translate immune-based technologies from the lab into early phase clinical trials, and addresses socio-economic considerations necessary for their adoption by health-care systems. The network is developing and attracting the talent needed for a thriving health biotechnology sector in Canada. BioCanRx is provided funding from the federal government's Networks of Centres of Excellence, and support from industry, the provinces and many national charities.


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 28, 2017) - FIRST MAJESTIC SILVER CORP. (TSX:FR)(NYSE:AG)(FRANKFURT:FMV)(BVM:AG) (the "Company" or "First Majestic") is pleased to announce the promotion of Dustin VanDoorselaere, previously Vice President of Operations, to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) beginning March 1, 2017. Mr. VanDoorselaere, an experienced mining engineer, will be responsible for overseeing all operational functions at each of the Company's six operating silver mines in Mexico. Prior to joining First Majestic in November 2016, Mr. VanDoorselaere held the position of General Manager for Nyrstar, a global metals and mining company, and was responsible for overseeing all aspects of mining operations, including legal and government relations, at the El Mochito mine in Honduras and the Campo Morado mine in Mexico. Prior to Nyrstar, Mr. VanDoorselaere held various operational positions at Goldgroup Mining and Aurico Gold in Mexico. Prior to working in Mexico, Mr. VanDoorselaere held senior operating positions with Redback Mining in Ghana, Norilsk Nickel in Australia, as well as numerous international mining companies within Canada. Salvador García, who previously held the COO position since July 2014, has been appointed to the new position of Country Manager of Mexico and will be responsible for government and stakeholder relations in Mexico. He will represent First Majestic at various political and social functions and will continue to work with Mr. VanDoorselaere, in a supporting role, to maintain positive relationships federally and in the local and state regions in which the Company operates. In addition, First Majestic is also pleased to announce the appointment of Marjorie Co, effective March 1, 2017, to the Company's Board of Directors. Ms. Co brings over 20 years of legal, business and corporate development experience. She currently provides business development and legal advice for technology-focused organizations and start-up companies. Her previous roles have included being the Director of Strategic Relations at Westport Innovations and Chief Development Officer at The Proof Centre of Excellence. Ms. Co was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1996 and is a Member of the Law Society of British Columbia. Ms. Co obtained her Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of British Columbia, and her Bachelor of Science degree from Simon Fraser University. First Majestic is a mining company focused on silver production in Mexico and is aggressively pursuing the development of its existing mineral property assets. The Company presently owns and operates six producing silver mines; the La Parrilla Silver Mine, the San Martin Silver Mine, the La Encantada Silver Mine, the La Guitarra Silver Mine, Del Toro Silver Mine and the Santa Elena Silver/Gold Mine. Production from these six mines is projected to be between 11.1 to 12.4 million ounces of pure silver or 16.6 to 18.5 million ounces of silver equivalents in 2017. This news release includes certain "Forward-Looking Statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When used in this news release, the words "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target", "plan", "forecast", "may", "schedule" and similar words or expressions, identify forward-looking statements or information. These forward-looking statements or information relate to, among other things: the price of silver and other metals; the accuracy of mineral reserve and resource estimates and estimates of future production and costs of production at our properties; estimated production rates for silver and other payable metals produced by us, the estimated cost of development of our development projects; the effects of laws, regulations and government policies on our operations, including, without limitation, the laws in Mexico which currently have significant restrictions related to mining; obtaining or maintaining necessary permits, licences and approvals from government authorities; and continued access to necessary infrastructure, including, without limitation, access to power, land, water and roads to carry on activities as planned. These statements reflect the Company's current views with respect to future events and are necessarily based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by the Company, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors, both known and unknown, could cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements that are or may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information and the Company has made assumptions and estimates based on or related to many of these factors. Such factors include, without limitation: fluctuations in the spot and forward price of silver, gold, base metals or certain other commodities (such as natural gas, fuel oil and electricity); fluctuations in the currency markets (such as the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso versus the U.S. dollar); changes in national and local government, legislation, taxation, controls, regulations and political or economic developments in Canada, Mexico; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities; risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development and mining (including environmental hazards, industrial accidents, unusual or unexpected formations, pressures, cave-ins and flooding); risks relating to the credit worthiness or financial condition of suppliers, refiners and other parties with whom the Company does business; inability to obtain adequate insurance to cover risks and hazards; and the presence of laws and regulations that may impose restrictions on mining, including those currently enacted in Mexico; employee relations; relationships with and claims by local communities and indigenous populations; availability and increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labour; the speculative nature of mineral exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining necessary licenses, permits and approvals from government authorities; diminishing quantities or grades of mineral reserves as properties are mined; the Company's title to properties; and the factors identified under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form, under the caption "Risks Relating to First Majestic's Business". Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements or information. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause results not to be anticipated, estimated or intended. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements or information to reflect changes in assumptions or changes in circumstances or any other events affecting such statements or information, other than as required by applicable law.


OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 23, 2017) - The Canadian Museum of Nature, Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences, announced today its largest-ever philanthropic gift - a $4 million investment from the Ross Beaty family in Vancouver, which will enhance the museum's national research and collections efforts focussed on species discovery. The $4 million gift will support three key initiatives which are core to what will be known as the museum's Beaty Centre for Species Discovery. This Centre of Excellence, which draws on the museum's national collections and the expertise of its scientific staff, is dedicated to creating, advancing and sharing knowledge about the discovery, naming, evolution, ecology and classification of species, both in the past and the present. The Beaty investment will support: All will be based at the museum's national research and collections facility, the Natural Heritage Campus, in Gatineau, Quebec. "The Beaty family's extraordinary generosity is a tremendous endorsement of the Canadian Museum of Nature's legacy in natural history research, collections management and public outreach about the natural world," says Meg Beckel, the museum's President and CEO. "We hope this transformational gift will inspire others to support the work of the museum, as we expand the museum's ability to share its knowledge worldwide, to mentor future scientists and to inspire understanding, respect and appreciation of the natural world for a better natural future." The gift was announced at an event in the presence of Ross and Trisha Beaty, who reside in Vancouver. Mr. Beaty is a geologist and resource entrepreneur, and his wife Trisha Beaty is a physician. Their passion for nature and the environment impelled them to support the museum's mission. "I'm always reminded that less than one percent of human philanthropy goes to nature and the environment. Yet our one species is having such a heavy footprint on the other millions of species that don't have voices. So I'm most pleased to lend my support to the museum and its research expertise," says Ross Beaty, whose philanthropy also led to the creation of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum on the campus of the University of British Columbia. "My hope is that this investment will help promote the Canadian Museum of Nature as a great Canadian biodiversity research institution and enhance its reputation as a great national natural history museum." "The Canadian Museum of Nature plays a vital role in preserving Canada's resources, educating Canadians and inspiring innovation. This donation will enable the museum to further protect and promote our unique natural heritage and diversity, allowing for a meaningful engagement with nature's past, present and future. As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, we encourage Canadians across the country to visit museums, learn from them and reconnect with their history and culture," says the the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. Two million dollars from the $4 million gift will fund the creation of a national cryogenic facility, which will include an examination room, and large, super-cooled vats filled with liquid nitrogen to house tissue samples and genetic material. The material to be stored will come from the museum's research activities, and from donations by other government and university institutions across Canada, and abroad. Another $1 million will support the digitization and high-resolution imaging of the museum's collections of about 350,000 Arctic specimens. These include some of the best examples in the world of plants, animals, fossils and minerals from this region. The free digital data will ensure this evidence of the Arctic's natural history is available globally to researchers, students, historians, policy makers and educators. A further $1 million will create the Beaty Post-Doctoral Fellowship for Species Discovery. Endowed through the Community Foundation of Ottawa, the fellowship will fund a post-doctoral scientist every two years to investigate species at risk. The scientist's role will also include public outreach about species loss, species at risk and the importance of conservation to species preservation. The fellowship is slated to begin in spring 2018. At the announcement, the museum honoured the Beaty donation with a personal gift to the family. Museum entomologist Dr. Bob Anderson, an expert on the group of beetles known as weevils, revealed a species new to science, which he has named Sicoderus beatyi in the family's honour. About the Canadian Museum of Nature The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences. The museum provides evidence-based insights, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature's past, present and future. It achieves this through scientific research, a 14.6 million specimen collection, education programs, signature and travelling exhibitions, and a dynamic web site, nature.ca. The museum is a founding member of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada and COSEWIC (the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada), and collaborates with national and international partners to share knowledge about the natural world. About Ross Beaty and the Beaty Family Ross and Trisha Beaty's philanthropic efforts are centred through their Sitka Foundation, which supports organizations that advance land and nature conservation, invests in community environmental projects and groups globally, and provides leadership in environmental stewardship and education. Ross Beaty is a geologist and resource entrepreneur with over 45 years of experience in the international minerals and renewable energy industries. A graduate of the University of British Columbia in geology and law, and Imperial College in geology, Mr Beaty is an internationally recognized leader in both non-renewable and renewable resource development. He has founded and divested a number of companies and remains founder and Chairman of Pan American Silver Corp., one of the world's leading silver producers, and founder and Chairman of Alterra Power Corp., a mid-sized renewable energy company with solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power operations in B.C., Texas, Indiana and Iceland. Mr. Beaty is also a well-known environmental philanthropist, primarily through The Sitka Foundation. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Nature Trust of BC, is a Director of The Pacific Salmon Foundation, a Director of Panthera, and is patron of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC. He and his wife Trisha, who is a physician, have a son and four daughters.


McElhaney J.E.,University of British Columbia | McElhaney J.E.,University of Connecticut
Ageing Research Reviews | Year: 2011

The most profound consequences of immune senescence with respect to public health are the increased susceptibility to influenza and loss of efficacy of the current split-virus influenza vaccines in older adults, which are otherwise very effective in younger populations. Influenza infection is associated with high rates of complicated illness including pneumonia, heart attacks and strokes in the 65+ population. Changes in both innate and adaptive immune function not only converge in the reduced response to vaccination and protection against influenza, but present significant challenges to new vaccine development. In older adults, the goal of vaccination is more realistically targeted to providing clinical protection against disease rather sterilizing immunity. Correlates of clinical protection may not be measured using standard techniques such as antibody titres to predict vaccine efficacy. Further, antibody responses to vaccination as a correlate of protection may fail to detect important changes in cellular immunity and enhanced vaccine-mediated protection against influenza illness in older people. This article will discuss the impact of influenza in older adults, immunologic targets for improved efficacy of the vaccines, and alternative correlates of clinical protection against influenza that are needed for more effective translation of novel vaccination strategies to improved protection against influenza in older adults. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Kapur S.,King's College London | Phillips A.G.,University of British Columbia | Insel T.R.,National Institute of Mental Health
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2012

Patients with mental disorders show many biological abnormalities which distinguish them from normal volunteers; however, few of these have led to tests with clinical utility. Several reasons contribute to this delay: lack of a biological 'gold standard' definition of psychiatric illnesses; a profusion of statistically significant, but minimally differentiating, biological findings; 'approximate replications' of these findings in a way that neither confirms nor refutes them; and a focus on comparing prototypical patients to healthy controls which generates differentiations with limited clinical applicability. Overcoming these hurdles will require a new approach. Rather than seek biomedical tests that can 'diagnose' DSM-defined disorders, the field should focus on identifying biologically homogenous subtypes that cut across phenotypic diagnosis-thereby sidestepping the issue of a gold standard. To ensure clinical relevance and applicability, the field needs to focus on clinically meaningful differences between relevant clinical populations, rather than hypothesis-rejection versus normal controls. Validating these new biomarker-defined subtypes will require longitudinal studies with standardized measures which can be shared and compared across studies-thereby overcoming the problem of significance chasing and approximate replications. Such biological tests, and the subtypes they define, will provide a natural basis for a 'stratified psychiatry' that will improve clinical outcomes across conventional diagnostic boundaries. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Patent
University of British Columbia and Basf | Date: 2013-11-11

In an example of a method for recovering lead from a mixed oxidized lead material, methane sulfonic acid is selected as a leaching acid for the mixed oxidized lead material. The mixed oxidized lead material is exposed to a solution including the methane sulfonic acid, which leaches lead from any of a lead oxide or a lead carbonate in the mixed oxidized lead material, and generates a liquid leachate including a lead-methane sulfonate salt. The liquid leachate is purified, and lead is recovered from the purified liquid leachate using electrolysis.


Patent
University of British Columbia and Basf | Date: 2013-11-11

In an example of a method for recovering lead from a lead material including lead sulfide, methane sulfonic acid is selected as a leaching acid for the lead material. The lead material is exposed to a solution including the methane sulfonic acid and i) ferric methane sulfonate or ii) oxygen, which leaches lead from the lead sulfide in the lead material, and generates a liquid leachate including a lead-methane sulfonate salt. The liquid leachate is purified, and lead is recovered from the purified liquid leachate using electrolysis.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: SEC-2012.7.4-2 | Award Amount: 7.66M | Year: 2013

The Critical Infrastructure Preparedness and Resilience Research Network or CIPRNet establishes a Network of Excellence in Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) R&D for a wide range of stakeholders including (multi)national emergency management, critical infrastructure (CI) operators, policy makers, and the society. CIPRNet builds a long-lasting, durable virtual centre of shared and integrated knowledge and expertise in CIP and CI MS&A (Modelling, Simulation and Analysis) by integrating part of the resources of the CIPRNet partners and their R&D activities acquired in more than 50 EU co-funded projects. This centre will form the foundation for the European Infrastructures Simulation & Analysis Centre (EISAC) by 2020. CIPRNet will strengthen and structure the European Research Area on CIP by using its network to outreach and link isolated research kernels and adjacent R&D areas. Activities include training and the ask the CIPRNet expert service to find and access the right pockets of CIP expertise in Europe. Moreover, CIPRNet enhances the resilience of CI in Europe by improving the knowledge and understanding, preparation and mitigation of CI disruptions and their consequences. The CIPRNet Joint Programme of Activities (JPA) integrates and makes complementary use of CIP and related knowledge, expertise, and resources (e.g., tools, methods, top experts and other staff) of the partners. The JPA forms the stepping stone for the development of the long-lasting cooperation and integration of R&D activities of the partners. The European CIP innovation process is boosted as substantial resources are integrated and focussed on the creation of added-value decision-support capabilities for (multi)national emergency management and CI owners. These capabilities provide timely, actionable, risk-informed CIP analyses and strategies that support the preparation for, response to, and recovery from major CI disruptions. The interest in CIPRNet is shown by 24 letters of support.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2010.1.3.4-1 | Award Amount: 4.31M | Year: 2010

Across Europe, people suffer losses not just from single hazards, but also from multiple events in combination. In both their occurrence and their consequences, different hazards are often causally related. Classes of interactions include triggered events, cascade effects, and rapid increases of vulnerability during successive hazards. Effective and efficient risk reduction, therefore, often needs to rest on a place-based synoptic view. MATRIX will tackle multiple natural hazards and risks in a common theoretical framework. It will integrate new methods for multi-type assessment, accounting for risk comparability, cascading hazards, and time-dependent vulnerability. MATRIX will identify the conditions under which the synoptic view provides significantly different and better results or potentially worse resultsthan established methods for single-type hazard and risk analysis. Three test cases (Naples, Cologne and the French West Indies), and a virtual city will provide MATRIX with all characteristic multi-hazard and multi-risk scenarios. The MATRIX IT-architecture for performing, analysing and visualising relevant scenarios will generate tools to support cost-effective mitigation and adaptation in multi-risk environments. MATRIX will build extensively on the most recent research on single hazard and risk methodologies carried out (or ongoing) in many national and international research projects, particularly those supported by DG Research of the European Commission. The MATRIX consortium draws together a wide range of expertise related to many of the most important hazards for Europe (earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, wildfires, winter storms, and both fluvial and coastal floods), as well as expertise on risk governance and decision-making. With ten leading research institutions (nine European and one Canadian), we also include end-user partners: from industry, and from the European National Platforms for Disaster Reduction.


News Article | January 28, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

A study from the University of British Columbia has found that biochemical reactions that give rise to Alzheimer's disease could start as early as during pregnancy or just after birth if the newborn does not receive enough vitamin A. Published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica, the study employed mice models and demonstrated that supplements administered to newborns with low vitamin A levels could also be effective in slowing down the neurodegenerative disease. For the study, Weihong Song and colleagues built upon results from earlier works linking low vitamin A levels with impairments in cognitive ability. Using mice models, the researchers examined the effects of vitamin A deficiency in the womb and during infancy. They chose these early developmental stages because these are critical periods in a child's growth as these are the times when brain tissues are "programmed" for the rest of a person's life. Based on their findings, the researchers saw that even a mild form of vitamin A deficiency is capable of spurring amyloid beta production, which gives rise to plaque that smother and eventually kill neurons in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, mice subjects deprived of vitamin A did worse on standard memory and learning tests as adults. The researchers also observed that when mice deprived of the vitamin in the womb were given normal diets as pups, they still recorded worse performance than those who received sufficient vitamin A in the womb but were deficient after birth. This observation points to the conclusion that damage was already in place in the womb. While damage may already be present as early as during pregnancy, some level of it may still be reversed by providing vitamin A supplements right away after birth to reduce levels of amyloid beta in the brain. Mice subjects that followed this ended up with improved learning and lesser memory deficits compared to those who were not given supplementary aid. "It's a matter of the earlier, the better," said Song. However, while the researchers highlight the importance of receiving adequate vitamin A, they also want to reiterate that the deficiency is not common in North America and that excessive intake of the vitamin could also bring negative effects. Instead of taking vitamin A supplements, pregnant women are advised to focus on consuming a balanced diet to get all the nutrients they need. Alongside clarifying the connection between vitamin A deficiency and Alzheimer's disease, the study also provided evidence that there is a link between the vitamin and developing dementia in later years. The researchers examined 330 elderly individuals in Chongqing and saw that 75 percent of the subjects with significant or mild levels of vitamin A deficiency had impaired cognitive abilities, compared to 47 percent who received had normal levels of vitamin A. Partly funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the study included work from Jiaying Zeng, Tingyu Li, Zhe Wang, Jie Chen, Qian Chen, Lan Ren, Zhen Fan, Yili Wu, and Hongpeng Jiang. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: www.accesswire.com

VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / March 1, 2017 / The team at True Leaf Medicine International Ltd. (CSE: MJ) (FSE: TLA) sends heartfelt congratulations to True Leaf Chairman, Mike Harcourt, for receiving the Freedom of the City award from the City of Vancouver. The Freedom of the City award is the highest award given by the City of Vancouver, granted only in exceptional cases to individuals who have gained national and international acclaim in the arts, business, or philanthropy, and who have brought recognition to the City of Vancouver through his or her achievements. Mike Harcourt served as the mayor of the City of Vancouver from 1980 to 1986, and as Premier of the province of British Columbia from 1991 to 1996. He joins a distinguished list of past honorees, including: environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki, Canada's first and only female Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Kim Campbell, and founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation, Rick Hansen, an advocate for people with disabilities. "There is no one more deserving of this award than Mike Harcourt," says Darcy Bomford, True Leaf CEO. "He is an admirable man who has done so much for not only the City of Vancouver, but also the province of British Columbia and Canada as a whole. We are so pleased to see Mike honoured with this award." Mike Harcourt is the Chairman for True Leaf Medicine International Ltd. and is a lead spokesperson for the company promoting safe and legal medical cannabis. He has held other prestigious titles as the Chair of the University of British Columbia's (UBC) Regional Sustainability Council, as an appointee to the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy, and as an Order of Canada recipient. "We are so proud to have him as True Leaf's Chairman," says Mr. Bomford. "It means so much to us that Mike chose to work with True Leaf rather than one of the other hundreds of ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) applicants," says Mr. Bomford. "He has been an integral part of our journey towards becoming a licensed producer. The Freedom of the City award is in good hands." Mike Harcourt received the Freedom of the City award from the City of Vancouver at a special ceremony held on Tuesday, February 28th at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver. True Leaf Medicine International Ltd., through its wholly-owned subsidiary 'True Leaf Pet', has entered the $104.9 billion global pet care industry with a line of hemp-focused pet chews and supplements marketed through natural pet health and veterinary channels in Canada, the United States and Europe. The company has also filed an application under Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) to become a Canadian licensed producer through its 'True Leaf Medicine' subsidiary. It has passed through the preliminary and enhanced screening process of Health Canada's review and is currently awaiting security clearance and 'pre-licensing inspection' approval. NEITHER THE CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICES PROVIDER HAVE REVIEWED OR ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS PRESS RELEASE. FORWARD LOOKING INFORMATION This press release contains forward-looking statements. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations and assumptions on which the forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements because the Company can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks discussed in the Company's continuous disclosure filings available under the Company's profile on www.sedar.com. While the Company may elect to, it does not undertake to update this information at any particular time.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Every year for the past 60 years, an average of 20 million tonnes of fish caught in the global ocean have not been used to nourish people. A new study emerging from the Sea Around Us project at the University of British Columbia's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries reveals that from 1950 to 2010, 27 per cent of commercial marine landings were diverted to uses other than direct human consumption. This trend has not changed in recent years and it poses serious questions regarding food security, as most of the diverted fish are classified as food-grade or prime food-grade. Out of the grand total, 18 million tonnes of fish have been being used specifically in the production of fishmeal and fish oil, which are commonly fed to aquaculture and livestock species. According to Tim Cashion, a researcher at the Sea Around Us and lead author of the study "Most fish destined for fishmeal production are food-grade fish" published in Fish and Fisheries, the use of prime fish resources to artificially feed farmed fish, pigs and chicken is a cause of concern as fish are an important source of nutrients and animal protein for 2.9 billion people across the world. Furthermore, fish used to feed other fish are often sourced in the waters of developing countries, which puts pressure on their fish stocks and reduces locals' access to fresh seafood. In general, these food-insecure communities are also denied access to final aquaculture products because most of those products are exported to developed countries. On top of this, Cashion and his co-authors, Daniel Pauly, Dirk Zeller, and Frederic LeManach, also found that there is an increase in the variety of fish being used for non-direct human consumption. This trend is mostly fueled by the growth of fed aquaculture in Southeast Asia and China and the depletion of overfished stocks of former target species. The analysis is based on information extracted from the Sea Around Us global database, specifically the reconstructed commercial landings data (industrial and artisanal) by taxon for each fishing country for each year from 1950-2010. To schedule an interview with the author, please contact Valentina Ruiz Leotaud v.ruizleotaud@oceans.ubc.ca The Sea Around Us is a research initiative at the University of British Columbia's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. The program is led by Daniel Pauly and Dirk Zeller and it focuses on assessing the impact of fisheries on the marine ecosystems of the world. The Sea Around Us provides data and analyses through View Data and articles in peer-reviewed journals. The project regularly updates its products at the scale of countries' Exclusive Economic Zones, Large Marine Ecosystems, the High Seas and other spatial scales, and as global maps and summaries.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 27, 2017) - Mark Jarvis, CEO of Hard Creek Nickel Corp. (TSX VENTURE:HNC), announced today that the University of British Columbia has been approved for a $25,000 Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Engage grant to study the carbon sequestration properties of Turnagain ultramafic rocks. PhD student Wei Feng, under the supervision of Metallurgy Chair Dr. David Dreisinger, will conduct a series of tests on material supplied by Hard Creek. "As a result of a previous PhD study by Dr. Anthony Jacobs, we know that the Turnagain ultramafics can sequester meaningful amounts of CO2," said Mr. Jarvis. "This new study will focus more on ore grade material, rather than waste rock. In addition to carbon sequestration, we are interested to see whether nickel in the olivine lattice will be freed up by the carbonization process." "We are delighted to receive the support of NSERC and our industry partner Hard Creek Nickel to conduct this important research," said Dr. Dreisinger. "Although carbon sequestration in silicates has been studied previously, I am not aware of any studies done that would seek out synergies with a mineral deposit." On behalf of the Board of Directors, Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

QUEBEC CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ITR Laboratories Canada Inc., a global provider of preclinical services, is pleased to announce new scientific leadership with the arrival of Abbas Fotovati, Ph.D., D.V.M., as senior veterinary scientist. In this role, Fotovati will be responsible for the company’s experimental and developmental veterinary services. Fotovati joins ITR from the University of British Columbia where he served on the faculty of the Department of Oncology and the Department of Experimental Medicine and Medical Genetics. He has also held academic, veterinary and pharmaceutical research positions in Japan, North America and the Middle East. With more than 25 years of experience, Fotovati is an accomplished scientist and published researcher in animal models on cancer, osteoporosis, wound healing, rheumatoid arthritis, angiogenesis and lipid metabolism, as well as in translational medicine and molecular therapeutics of novel drugs. In addition to his expertise in animal modeling, which has granted him eligibility for the board of American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM), he is a molecular and development biologist with extensive knowledge of new areas in this field, including stem cell biology. “We are pleased that Abbas has chosen to contribute to our ongoing success,” said Ginette Bain, senior vice president at ITR. “His broad preclinical knowledge and combination of industry experience and academic research will enable ITR to provide innovative scientific service and specialized surgical expertise to our clients.” ITR Laboratories Canada Inc. provides preclinical testing services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries worldwide. As a CRO with extensive experience, ITR provides clients with valuable input and best practices, which ultimately help them maximize the value of their investment.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Erlantz Lizundia, a researcher in the UPV/EHU's department of Physical Chemistry and expert in cellulose, started the research during a period of time he spent in Canada. The research group he was in specialised in the helix-shaped organisation of a product extracted from cellulose, cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs). Under specific conditions, the crystals can assume a helical structure, or what is the same, they can form chiral nematic structures when the crystals are organised into ordered layers, and membranes with unique properties can thus be obtained: "The membrane displays a different colour depending on the distance existing between the layers of cellulose nanocrystals that form the helical, or chiral nematic structure. An interaction takes place between the structure and the light and, as a result, the wavelength of the light changes and materials in bright colours are obtained," explained Lizundia. This capacity to change colour displayed by the structure "could prove very useful in enabling these membranes to be used as sensors; for example, when they are put into a humid environment, the structure will swell and the distance between the layers will increase and the colour will change," he added. This effect is known as structural coloration and is very common in nature. The colour of a whole host of animals (snakes, chameleons) and plants is the direct consequence of their supramolecular structure, and contrary to what one may think, is not linked to the presence of pigments. Suitable as metal sensors and for bioimaging purposes Inserting carbon dots into the chiral nematic structure of the cellulose nanocrystals makes this material particularly suited as a detector for the presence of iron so, as Lizundia explains, "it is very useful for detecting environmental pollution or the presence of metals in the body. I, specifically, studied the material's response to zinc and iron, as they are both present in large quantities in environmental and biological matters. I was able to see that the interaction of the metal ions with the carbon nanoparticles influences the degree of fluorescence emitted by the nanoparticles. The fluorescence diminishes in the presence of iron, whereas it increases in the presence of zinc". Another possible application of this material could be in bioimaging. In the research conducted, Lizundia only managed to get as far as testing that it does in fact offer this possibility. "I will shortly be embarking on research to go further into this subject and use these nanoparticles to create bioimages". Bioimaging consists of creating images using non-invasive methods in biological processes, such as cell processes, as well as measuring the interaction between molecules in real time in the location where these interactions are taking place. The UPV/EHU researcher Erlantz Lizundia conducted his research work in collaboration with the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada, and with the FPInnovations organisation, also Canadian. At that time, Lizundia was a researcher in the department of Physical Chemistry on the UPV/EHU's Leioa campus. Right now, however, he is assistant lecturer in the Department of Graphic Expression and Engineering Projects in the Faculty of Engineering in Bilbao. Wanting to go a step beyond what he had learned in Canada, Lizundia considered incorporating other functional nanoparticles into this chiral nematic structure, particles whose properties change in the presence of external stimuli. He chose some carbon nanodots, firstly because they are fluorescent, in other words, they emit colour when excited by ultraviolet light, and secondly, because he was able to obtain them by using sugar as the raw material. "I obtained these nanoparticles by subjecting glucose to hydrothermal treatment using water and heat only and by means of a fast, cheap process," the researcher pointed out. The final material displayed the characteristics Lizundia had been seeking. Firstly, "it is an environmentally friendly material as it is non-toxic and its raw materials are of a renewable nature, and the synthesis process is fast, simple and scalable. Secondly, the fact that the material is fluorescent gives it interesting properties enabling it to be used as a sensor," specified Lizundia.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Universal public coverage of 117 essential medicines could address the needs of most Canadians for pharmaceutical drugs, and possibly save more than $4 billion a year, according to a new study published http://www. in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). "Adding an essential medicines list is a pragmatic step toward universal pharmacare," states Steven Morgan, a professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia (UBC). "It would ensure all Canadians have access to the most commonly required medicines while saving patients and private drug plan sponsors over $4 billion per year." The researchers identified a list of 117 essential medicines that accounted for 44% of all prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies in 2015 and up to 77% of all prescriptions when therapeutically similar medications were included. These medicines included antibiotics, insulin, heart medication, antidepressants, oral contraceptives and more. "Universal pharmacare has been long-promised but undelivered in Canada, in part because of concerns about where to start," said Morgan. "We show that adding universal public coverage of essential medicines to the existing system of drug coverage in Canada is a significant and feasible step in the right direction." In a related study published concurrently in CMAJ Open, researchers adapted the World Health Organization's Model List of Essential Medicines, identifying 125 essential medications for Canada http://www. . "The World Health Organization (WHO) says these essential medicines should be available to everyone who needs them," said Dr. Nav Persaud, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, who led the team that developed the essential medicines list and was a coauthor of the CMAJ paper. "We adapted the WHO's list based on clinical practice in Canada." The authors of the CMAJ study note that it was a simulation study and thus based on assumptions around drug usage, prices, product substitutions and other factors. Morgan and Persaud propose that governments purchase the essential medicines in bulk for all of Canada, which they found would save patients and private drug plans $4.3 billion per year while costing government an additional $1.2 billion per year. "Commissions on the Canadian health care system have repeatedly concluded that universal, comprehensive public pharmacare is the most equitable and efficient means of achieving access to appropriate and affordable care for all Canadians," the authors conclude. Researchers from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, conducted the CMAJ study. The CMAJ study was partially funded by a PSI Graham Farquharson Knowledge Translation Fellowship from the Physicians Services Incorporated Foundation, an IMPACT Award from the Ontario SPOR Support Unit and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES Trusted Brand 2016 Inc. ("Trusted Brand" or the "Corporation") (TSX VENTURE:HAH.P) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a letter of intent dated January 30, 2017, pursuant to which it intends to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of 1367790 Alberta Ltd. and 2186774 Ontario Inc. (together, the "Holmes Services Companies"). Trusted Brand will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of the Holmes Services Companies in exchange for the issuance of 30,000,000 common shares of the Corporation (the "Holmes Acquisition"). It is expected that the Holmes Acquisition will constitute a "Qualifying Transaction" for the Corporation as such term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange Inc. ("TSXV" or the "Exchange"). It is expected that soon after completion of the transaction, Trusted Brand will change its name to Holmes Trusted Services Inc. The principal shareholders of the Holmes Services Companies are Mike Holmes of Toronto, Ontario (73.6%), Seth Atkins of Toronto, Ontario (4.8%), and Drew Atkins of Calgary, Alberta (21.6%). Following the completion of the Holmes Acquisition and the Concurrent Financing, it is expected that they will hold approximately 47.5%, 3.1% and 13.9% of the Resulting Issuer, respectively. It is intended that Trusted Brand will, in conjunction with the completion of the Holmes Acquisition, complete a private placement of up to 12,500,000 common shares with gross proceeds of approximately $5,000,000, at a price of $0.40 per share (the "Concurrent Financing"). The Holmes Services Companies provide two key services to the home building industry. The first is a new home construction certification program operating as "Holmes Approved Homes". This unique private service has successfully generated a network of high quality new home builders that operate jointly to achieve elevated market distinction and co-branded support on a variety of fields and topics. The second service provides home inspection services for new home construction and/or existing homes and is called Mike Holmes Inspections. This multi-faceted company provides all of the new home construction "stage" inspections for Holmes Approved Homes but also provides traditional home inspection and specialty services. Both services were initiated in 2011 and are in their sixth year of operation. The Holmes Brand is based on three pillars: Quality, Integrity, & Trust. This is what Mike Holmes represents like no other in the construction industry. Named the third most trusted Celebrity by Forbes Magazine in 2013, Mike connects with the hearts and minds of current and future homeowners by helping to educate on how to Make it Right™. The Holmes Services Companies are being merged into a single financial entity to achieve a more streamlined and efficient delivery of both services and with the goal of expanding into the U.S. markets. The following is a summary of the Holmes Services Companies' financial information for the years ended 2014 and 2015 and the nine months ended September 30, 2016. The financial statements for the years ended 2014 and 2015 have been audited and the nine month period ended September 30, 2016, is a review engagement prepared by the Holmes Services Companies' auditor, BDO LLP, of Toronto, Ontario. The total assets and total liabilities of the Holmes Services Companies as at September 30, 2016, were $2,327,715 and $2,556,266, respectively. Upon completion of the Holmes Acquisition, the Holmes Services Companies will be wholly owned by the Corporation. It is anticipated that Trusted Brand will be a Tier 1 Industrial Issuer under the policies of the Exchange upon completion of the Holmes Acquisition. Subject to the completion of satisfactory due diligence, a definitive share acquisition agreement and receipt of applicable regulatory approvals, the Corporation intends to acquire all of the outstanding and issued common shares of the Holmes Services Companies such that 1367790 Alberta Ltd. and 2186774 Ontario Inc. will each be wholly-owned subsidiaries of Trusted Brand. The consideration to be paid by Trusted Brand for all of the Holmes Services Companies' common shares issued and outstanding at the time of closing shall be satisfied by the issuance of 30,000,000 Trusted Brand common shares, at a deemed value of $0.40 per share, for a total deemed value of $12,000,000 representing 87.3% of the issued and outstanding shares of Trusted Brand after the completion of the Holmes Acquisition and prior to the Concurrent Financing. It is intended that Trusted Brand will, in conjunction with the completion of the Holmes Acquisition, complete a brokered private placement of common shares with gross proceeds of approximately $5,000,000, at a price of $0.40 per share. The capital investment will be utilized to increase operating revenue in Canada and expand the services into the United States. Additional details related to the concurrent financing will be released in the near future. The Corporation currently has 3,962,900 common shares issued and outstanding. Assuming the Concurrent Financing involving the issuance of 12,500,000 common shares at a price of $0.40 to raise $5,000,000 and the concurrent completion of the Holmes Acquisition, the Resulting Issuer will have approximately 46,462,900 common shares outstanding (undiluted), of which the former shareholders of the Holmes Services Companies will own approximately 64.5%. Trusted Brand currently has 396,290 outstanding director and officer share options at an exercise price of $0.25 and 228,290 outstanding agent's warrants at an exercise price of $0.25. Concurrent with the closing of the Holmes Acquisition, the Corporation is planning to issue incentive stock options to directors, officers, employees and key consultants of the Corporation to acquire up to 4,200,000 common shares. Conditions Precedent to Completion of the Holmes Acquisition Completion of the Holmes Acquisition is subject to a number of conditions, including but not limited to: Under the policies of the Exchange, the Holmes Acquisition was negotiated as and is being completed as an arm's length transaction. Upon completion of the Holmes Acquisition, it is anticipated that Trusted Brand's board of directors will change with certain resignations and the appointment of Holmes Services Companies' nominees. The backgrounds of each of the proposed members of the board of directors and senior management of the Resulting Issuer are as follows: Mr. Atkins, age 44, has worked directly with Mike Holmes for almost 10 years. He advanced from the position of Design Principal to that of Senior Vice President of The Holmes Group of Companies and worked with Mike to create the Holmes Approved Home and Mike Holmes Inspections services. Together, and now with Mike's daughter, Amanda Holmes as fellow Senior VP, the company has grown quickly into a multi-million dollar business that responsibly leverages the Holmes Brand in pursuit of a better homeowner experience. Mr. Atkins was previously a design Associate at BairdSampsonNeuert Architects in Toronto, Ontario for 6 years. He received his Masters of Architecture from the University of Toronto in 2002, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia in 1998, and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Utah in 1996. Mr. Atkins is a LEED Accredited Professional since 2004. Mr. Holmes, age 53 is currently the CEO and primary owner of The Holmes Group of Companies. Mr. Holmes is the long-time host of over five series featured on cable primetime TV including Holmes on Homes, Holmes Inspections, Holmes' Make it Right, Home Free on FOX TV and, most recently, Holmes & Holmes featuring Mike's son (Mike Jr). His shows have been broadcast worldwide in over 72 countries and the Holmes brand is synonymous with quality, integrity and trust. The Holmes brand resonates with homeowners and his goal of education for all has created one of the most prolific international brands coming from Canada. Mr. Holmes' extensive efforts to raise building standards has led to him being awarded the prestigious Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal and being recognized in the House of Commons in 2006.With over a dozen years of filming Mike also donates his time to SOS Children's Villages Canada, Skills Canada, World Skills and the Holmes Foundation to help more people be trained to Make it Right! Ms. Lazorko, age 38, is a CPA,CGA with over 13 years of private and public company experience. Charidy has been involved as an officer in numerous companies providing financial services, with an emphasis in corporate restructuring, amalgamations and asset acquisitions, and she has acted as a financial advisor for a multitude of other private transactions in numerous industries. She has been CFO of a number of public companies during her career. Ms. Stewart, age 53, is the founder and has been Chief Executive Officer of Fairway Divorce Solutions, a private divorce resolution company, since 2006. In this capacity, Ms. Stewart has developed a corporate and franchise business with locations from Ontario to British Columbia. She is also the founder and has been CEO of Oreiva Insurance Inc., a private insurance brokerage, since 2013. Karen has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry including but not limited to: financial broker dealers in IDA and MFDA, boutique brokerage firms, real estate investment firms and an insurance brokerage business. She received her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Saskatchewan in 1988 as well as her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1986. Mr. Antony, age 54, is a Chartered Professional Accountant and has 25 years' experience in assisting companies in structuring transactions, accessing capital, and corporate governance. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer and a director of Blackhawk Resource Corp., and he is also a director of Spriza Media Inc., both of which are listed on the TSXV. Mr. Antony has been involved as an officer and director of numerous public and private companies. In addition, Mr. Antony sits on both the Local Advisory and National Advisory Committees for the TSXV. In addition to these individuals, it is expected that the Resulting Issuer will appoint a COO and corporate secretary. The Corporation will issue a subsequent news release with information regarding the persons to be appointed to these positions. Details of the concurrent financing will be released in the near future. Trusted Brands may seek a waiver from all of part of the sponsorship requirements for the proposed Qualifying Transaction in accordance with Exchange requirements. It is expected that trading in the shares of Trusted Brand will remain halted until further notice. Completion of the Holmes Acquisition is subject to a number of conditions, including but not limited to, Exchange acceptance and if applicable pursuant to Exchange requirements, majority of the minority shareholder approval. Where applicable, the transaction cannot close until the required shareholder approval is obtained. There can be no assurance that the transaction will be completed as proposed or at all. Investors are cautioned that, except as disclosed in the management information circular to be prepared in connection with the transaction, any information released or received with respect to the transaction may not be accurate or complete and should not be relied upon. Trading in the securities of a capital pool company should be considered highly speculative. Certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward looking statements. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe", "subject to" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumption but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and the forward-looking statements included in this news release should not be unduly relied upon. NEITHER TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATION SERVICE PROVIDER (AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN THE POLICIES OF THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE) ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: www.sciencemag.org

BOSTON—Add a new set of actors to the throng of gut microbes that influence health: fungi. So far, genetic sequencing of the microbiome has largely focused on bacteria, Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, explained in a session here at the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes  . In 2015, Finlay and colleagues identified four bacteria that seemed to protect Canadian kids from developing asthma. They suspected that these bugs shaped the nascent immune system by bumping up levels of immune-modulating cells in the gut. But when the group sequenced the gut microbiome in a group of 100 children in Esmeraldas, Ecuador—a more rural setting, but with rates of asthma comparable to Canada’s—the best microbial predictor of asthma wasn’t a bacterium at all, but a genus of yeast known as Pichia (above). Three-month-olds who had it in their feces were more likely to develop asthma by the age of 5. How the yeast might boost asthma risk is far from clear—and it likely interacts with bacterial species to influence the immune system, Finlay says. But the find is new evidence that fungal organisms are not to be ignored. “The technology is there. We can do this now,” Finlay says. “And I think it’s going to open up another layer of complexity.” Check out our full coverage of AAAS 2017. *Correction, 20 Februrary, 3:05 p.m.: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that fungi were more abundant in the human microbiome than bacteria.


Oka A.,Research in Motion | Lampe L.,University of British Columbia
IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications | Year: 2010

Wireless Sensor Networks are well suited for tracking targets carrying RFID tags in indoor environments. Tracking based on the received signal strength indication (RSSI) is by far the cheapest and simplest option, but suffers from secular biases due to effects of multi-path, occlusions and decalibration, as well as large unbiased errors due to measurement noise. We propose a novel algorithm that solves these problems in a distributed, scalable and power-efficient manner. Firstly, our proposal includes a tandem incremental estimator that learns and tracks the radio environment of the network, and provides this knowledge for the use of the tracking algorithm, which eliminates the secular biases due to radio occlusions etc. Secondly, we reduce the unbiased tracking error by exploiting the co-dependencies in the motion of several targets (as in crowds or herds) via a fully distributed and tractable particle filter. We thereby extract a significant 'diversity gain' while still allowing the network to scale seamlessly to a large tracking area. In particular, we avoid the pitfalls of network congestion and severely shortened battery lifetimes that plague procedures based on the joint multi-target probability density. © 2010 IEEE.


Patent
Cangene U.S. Incorporated and University of British Columbia | Date: 2012-11-12

The present disclosure provides for a hyperimmune preparation comprising human polyclonal antibodies or fragments thereof specific to a cyclic peptide having an amino acid sequence comprising SNK. The cyclic peptide may comprise an amino acid sequence GSNK (SEQ ID NO: 1), SNKG(SEQ ID NO: 2), GSNKG (SEQ ID N0:3), CSNKG (SEQ ID NO: 4), CGSNKGC (SEQ ID NO: 5), CGSNKGG (SEQ ID NO: 6), or CCGSNKGC (SEQ ID NO: 7). The antibodies in the hyperimmune preparation may have a titer ranging from about 200 to about 400 mean fluorescence intensity (MFI). In one embodiment, greater than about 80% of the antibodies in the hyperimmune preparation are IgG. The fragments of the antibodies are Fab, F(ab)2, scFv, disulfide linked Fv, or mixtures thereof.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 8.33M | Year: 2014

Asymptomatic vascular damage accumulates for years before patients are identified and subjected to therapeutic measures. The limited knowledge on early vascular disease pathophysiology is reflected in the lack of therapeutic options. SysVasc aims to overcome this limitation by mounting a comprehensive systems medicine approach to elucidate pathological mechanisms, which will yield molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. The consortium is based on established multidisciplinary European research networks, including specialists in pre-clinical and clinical research, omics technologies, and systems biology from research intensive SMEs and academia; partners synergistically provide access to an extensive number of selected population-based cohorts and associated datasets, cutting edge modeling and simulation methods, and established cardiovascular disease (CVD) animal models and patient cohorts. The coordinated application of these tools and know-how will identify pathophysiological mechanisms and key molecules responsible for onset and progression of CVD and validate their potential to serve as molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. To this end, the consortium will also use unique resources to evaluate molecular homology between the available model systems and human disease, which will yield reliable essential preclinical research tools to explore proof of concepts for therapeutic intervention studies and ultimately translate relevant results into novel therapeutic approaches. Collectively, SysVasc will identify and validate novel biology-driven key molecular targets for CVD treatment. Major scientific, societal and economic impact is expected including, but not limited to, providing a valuable resource to further CVD research, and enhance competitiveness of participating SMEs and European health industry in general by translating knowledge into innovative services in therapeutic target and drug research.


Patent
French Institute for Research in Computer Science, Automation, Institute Polytechnique Of Grenoble and University of British Columbia | Date: 2013-05-21

Processing method for transforming a first surface into a second surface, according to which: a/ in a (k+1)^(th )iteration step, for each couple comprising a first elementary surface and a second elementary surface transformed from the first elementary surface in iteration k, the projection of the second elementary surface on the plane of the first elementary surface is determined and a matrix (A) is defined for said couple, where (A)=P_(k)^(t),(P^(t))^(1 )and P^(t)=[p_(n+1)p_(i)]_(i=1 to n), P_(k)^(t),=[p_(n+1,k)p_(i,k)]_(i=1 to n); b/ the second elementary surfaces obtained for the (k+1)^(th )iteration are determined as those minimizing a function including at least the term E_(shape)_(k+1)=(B).


NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES OR TO U.S. NEWSWIRE SERVICES Comstock Metals Ltd. (TSX VENTURE: CSL)("Comstock" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that at its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders held on Monday February 27, 2017, incumbent directors David Terry, Doug Turnbull, Steven Goldman and Rasool Mohammad were re-elected to the Board of Directors of the Company, and Ken Kuchling and Jeffrey Gregory were elected as new directors. At the Meeting, Shareholders also approved the number of directors, approved and ratified the Company's stock option plan, and re-appointed Dale Matheson Carr-Hilton LaBonte LLP, Chartered Accountants, as auditor of the Company. The Company is also pleased to announce that it has closed its previously announced non-brokered private of units ("Units") and flow-through units ("FT Units"). Pursuant to the offering the Company issued a total of 13,344,157 Units and 3,563,900 FT Units raising aggregate gross proceeds of $2,643,125.65. President and CEO David Terry stated ""I am very pleased to have Ken Kuchling and Jefferson Gregory join the board of directors of Comstock. Their vast experience and knowledge will be instrumental in assisting the Company as it moves forward." Mr. Kuchling brings with him over 35 years' experience in mine engineering, mining operations and consulting across a variety of commodities including precious metals, base metals, bauxite, iron ore, tungsten, molybdenum as well as diamonds and potash. Throughout his consulting career he has had direct involvement in scoping and feasibility studies, project management, 43-101 technical reports, economic modelling, mine design, and environmental permitting. Mr Kuchling has project experience working in various regions in Canada, Alaska, Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Suriname, Russia, South Korea, Italy, Spain, and Senegal. He was involved in the design stage and environmental permitting of the Diavik Diamond Project in the Northwest Territories and has experience with tropical to Arctic mining conditions. Mr. Kuchling is a mining engineering graduate from McGill University and holds a Masters of Mine Engineering from University of British Columbia. He is also a member of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) and currently lives in Toronto Ontario. Mr. Gregory is a businessman and investor specializing in the pharmaceutical sector. Throughout his career he has been involved in founding and operating a number successful companies, including NYSE-listed King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. between 1993 and 2004 and Graceway Pharmaceuticals LLC from 2006-2011. Mr. Gregory is the listed inventor on numerous awarded USPTO patents and he serves, or has served, as a member of the Board of Directors of multiple pharmaceutical, academic and charity organizations. Mr. Gregory or his transactions in the pharmaceutical industry have won numerous business awards and have been featured on multiple occasions in, among others, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Smart Money Magazine, Business Week, and CNBC. His strategies and methods have been taught as case studies at The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Gregory graduated from the University of Maryland in 1979 with a BS degree in Pharmacy and from the University of Maryland in 1985 with a Juris Doctorate Degree. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree conferred upon him by King University, TN. Each Unit was issued at a price $0.15 and consists of one common share in the capital of the Company (a "Share") and one common share purchase warrant (a "Warrant"). Each Warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one additional common share of the Company (a " Share") at an exercise price of $0.20 per Share for a period of 24 months from the Closing Date. Each FT Unit was issued at a price $0.18 and consists of one flow-through common share in the capital of the Company (a "FT Share") and one-half of one common share purchase warrant (each whole warrant a "FT Warrant"). Each FT Warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one additional non flow-through common share of the Company (a "Share") at an exercise price of $0.20 per Share for a period of 24 months from the Closing Date. The Warrants and FT Warrants include an acceleration clause, whereby, if the weighted average trading price of the Company's common shares on the TSX Venture Exchange (or such other exchange on which the common shares may trade) is at a price equal to or greater than $0.40 for a period of 20 consecutive trading days, the Company will have the right to accelerate the expiry date of the Warrants and FT Warrants. If the Company exercises such right, it will give written notice to the holders of the Warrants and FT Warrants that such warrants will expire 30 days from the date of notice to the warrant holders. Such notice by the Company to the holders of the Warrants and FT Warrants may not be given until 4 months and one day after the Closing Date. In connection with the closing of the financing, the Company paid finders an aggregate commission of $58,318.81 and issued an aggregate of 352,898 compensation options. Each compensation option entitles the holder thereof to acquire one Unit at a price of $0.15 per Unit for a period of 24 months from the Closing Date. The Company will use the gross proceeds of the offering of FT Units for eligible exploration expenditures, which will constitute "Canadian Exploration Expenses" ("CEE") that are "Flow-Through mining expenditures", as defined in the Income Tax Act (Canada) which can be renounced to purchasers of the FT Units for the 2017 taxation year in the aggregate amount of not less than the total amount of the gross proceeds raised from the flow-through offering. The CEE shall be incurred no later than December 31, 2018. The proceeds from the offering of Units will be used to fund exploration on the Company's mineral properties and for general working capital. The securities issued under the offerings have not been, and will not be, registered under the U.S. Securities Act or any U.S. state securities laws, and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to, or for the account or benefit of, U.S. persons absent registration or any applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act and applicable U.S. state securities laws. The securities issued in this financing are subject to a hold period that expires on June 28, 2017. Comstock Metals Ltd. is a Canadian-focussed mineral exploration company with two 100% owned resource-stage gold projects. Additional Assets: Comstock also owns the early stage Old Cabin gold project in Ontario and uranium claims in the Patterson Lake area of Saskatchewan and has optioned out its Corona property in Mexico (see Comstock's news release dated January 28, 2016). David A. Terry, Ph.D., P.Geo., a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical disclosure in this news release. This news release includes forward-looking information and statements, which may include, but are not limited to, information and statements regarding or inferring the future business, operations, financial performance, prospects, and other plans, intentions, expectations, estimates, and beliefs of the Company. Such statements include statements regarding the use of proceeds resulting from the financing. Forward-looking information and statements involve and are subject to assumptions and known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause actual events, results, performance, or achievements of the Company to be materially different from future events, results, performance, and achievements expressed or implied by forward-looking information and statements herein. The assumptions on which the forward looking statements contained herein rely include the ability to complete the proposed financing. Although the Company believes that any forward-looking information and statements herein are reasonable, in light of the use of assumptions and the significant risks and uncertainties inherent in such information and statements, there can be no assurance that any such forward-looking information and statements will prove to be accurate, and accordingly readers are advised to rely on their own evaluation of such risks and uncertainties and should not place undue reliance upon such forward-looking information and statements. Any forward-looking information and statements herein are made as of the date hereof, and except as required by applicable laws, the Company assumes no obligation and disclaims any intention to update or revise any forward-looking information and statements herein or to update the reasons that actual events or results could or do differ from those projected in any forward looking information and statements herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or results, or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this Release.


VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 22, 2017) - When you gamble, use your GameSense. That's the message MGM Resorts International will be sharing with its customers across North America as part of an agreement with BCLC, British Columbia's provincial gambling corporation, to license its responsible gambling program, GameSense. MGM anticipates having GameSense fully integrated into all 17 of its properties across the USA within the year. The agreement, announced at the fifth annual New Horizons in Responsible Gambling Conference in Vancouver, B.C., marks the first time a program of this kind is being adopted by any commercial gaming company in North America. Introduced by BCLC in 2009, GameSense is an innovative, player-focused responsible gambling program that encourages players to adopt behaviours and attitudes that can reduce the risk of developing gambling disorders. MGM is adopting GameSense to enhance awareness and education about responsible gambling for players and guests and, in doing so, raising the standards within the industry. As part of the agreement, MGM has committed to funding $1 million USD over five years, towards a research partnership between BCLC, MGM, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas' (UNLV) International Gaming Institute. UNLV will help facilitate development of a consortium of internationally renowned experts in responsible gambling, and will also work closely with the University of British Columbia's Centre for Gambling Research. This will include a multi-faceted research project to enhance GameSense and all responsible gambling products based on new, data-driven, scientifically-based expertise in responsible gambling. Introduced by BCLC in 2009, GameSense is an innovative, player-focused responsible gambling program that encourages players to adopt behaviours and attitudes that can reduce the risk of developing gambling disorders. This includes setting and sticking to personally-allocated time and monetary limits for gambling, as well as being open and honest with family, friends and oneself when it comes to personal gambling habits. GameSense has earned international recognition such as the World Lottery Association's Best Overall Responsible Gambling Program (2010), and the U.S.- based National Council on Problem Gambling's Social Responsibility Award (2015). In addition to being licensed and piloted at MGM Resort International casino properties, the program has been implemented by Connecticut Lottery, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and Canadian provinces Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. BCLC is a Crown corporation offering socially responsible gambling entertainment through 35 casino gaming properties, 7 bingo halls, over 3,800 lottery retailers and through its online gaming website, PlayNow.com. Last year, BCLC generated more than $1.3 billion in net income to benefit provincial and community programs, including healthcare, education and charities across British Columbia, Canada. MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) is one of the world's leading global hospitality companies, operating a portfolio of destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company opened MGM National Harbor in Maryland on December 8, 2016, and is in the process of developing MGM Springfield in Massachusetts. MGM Resorts controls and holds a 76 percent economic interest in the operating partnership of MGM Growth Properties LLC (NYSE:MGP), a premier triple-net lease real estate investment trust engaged in the acquisition, ownership and leasing of large-scale destination entertainment and leisure resorts. The Company also owns 56 percent of MGM China Holdings Limited (SEHK:2282), which owns MGM MACAU and is developing MGM COTAI, and 50 percent of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA Resort & Casino. MGM Resorts is named among FORTUNE® Magazine's 2016 list of World's Most Admired Companies®. For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company's website at www.mgmresorts.com. "We believe it's our role to take the lead in providing better responsible gambling programming that supports our players, helps reduce harm and strengthens the gaming industry as a whole. We are thrilled MGM Resorts recognizes the value of our GameSense program, and wants to align with us to further the positive role it can play in reducing gambling-related harm." "MGM is excited to adopt the GameSense platform and to form this dynamic research enterprise. Our vision for GameSense is to transform the guest experience at our properties by providing a program that is rooted in enhanced customer service, player education, and leading research."


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.nature.com

Life starts with a puzzle. Out of sight in a mother's womb, 3 billion letters of DNA code somehow turn into 3D bodies, all in the space of a mere 40 weeks. Fetuses form eyes, brains, hearts, fingers and toes — in processes that are meticulously coordinated in both time and space. Biologists have pieced together parts of this puzzle, but many gaps remain. Now, a crop of molecular technologies is giving scientists tantalizing hints about how to fill in those gaps. Improved ways of reading and interpreting the information in fetal genetic material are uncovering a raft of genes involved in human development, and letting researchers eavesdrop on the hum of gene activity before birth. They can see which genes turn on or off at pivotal moments, and sense how the environment nurtures or intrudes on this. Even the vital life-support system that we jettison at birth — the placenta — is laying bare its secrets. “It really is this great mystery in reproduction,” says Zev Williams, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. “It's obviously such a critical part of human development, but it's been so understudied.” Until now, much of the work has relied on amniotic or placental samples obtained during routine invasive tests such as amniocentesis. But scientists are eyeing the next step: studies that are non-invasive for the fetus and are done on a teaspoonful of blood drawn from a pregnant woman's arm. In this way, researchers could monitor fetuses as they develop and, down the line, develop non-invasive tests for a broad range of conditions, in both fetus and mother. Physicians are already moving towards treating fetuses in the womb on the basis of such diagnoses. “It's an exciting time,” says Mark Kilby, a fetal-medicine specialist at the University of Birmingham, UK. But it won't be plain sailing. The technologies are developing so quickly that scientists are struggling to interpret the information they yield and are facing knotty ethical quandaries. What, for example, should doctors do if non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) reveals a DNA sequence that sometimes causes disease — but not always? “That is what we have to discuss as a whole community,” says clinician and geneticist Dennis Lo of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who was the first to find fetal DNA in a mother's blood1. Probing fetal development starts, naturally enough, with DNA, the recipe for life. Developmental biologists have already gathered a trove of information here, through studies of laboratory animals from worms to mice, identifying many genes and processes that have human equivalents. Painstaking detective work on families with inherited genetic diseases has yielded even more insight. But the advent of next-generation DNA sequencing is transforming the field. It is now relatively easy to sequence genomes, in whole or in part, to look for the causes of rare genetic disorders. And discoveries are piling up: how key signalling proteins help cells to adopt their myriad identities, and how the packaging of DNA influences brain development, to name just two. “We are currently in a very rich vein of accelerated understanding,” says Matthew Hurles, a geneticist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge, UK. Most studies so far have parsed genomes after birth. But researchers are pushing to use the same methods on fetuses in the womb, in the hope of improving the diagnoses and prognoses they can offer to expectant parents. Hurles and his colleagues, for example, are studying 1,000 fetuses with structural abnormalities spotted through ultrasounds. Using cells from fetus, mother and father, the team is sequencing the 1–2% of the genome that carries instructions for making proteins (the exome), as well as the entire genomes of a smaller subset, to try to identify the genetics behind the disorders. Researchers want to go still further, and sequence entire fetal genomes using blood from the mother. This would give them ready access to DNA at nearly all stages of fetal development, in healthy fetuses as well as ones that may have problems. The approach is realistic, they say. The field is racing ahead: a flurry of papers, from Lo2, 3, Stephen Quake at Stanford University in California4, 5 and genome scientist Jay Shendure at the University of Washington in Seattle6 have honed the resolution with which scientists can analyse a fetal genome from tiny bits of DNA floating in the mother's blood. They can now count the number of chromosomes in a fetus2, 4, and are developing ever-more-accurate ways to sequence genomes. In principle, they can now detect single-letter variants in the DNA sequence that might cause inherited diseases, and are building up their ability to find mutations that underlie some developmental disorders but are not present in either parent. Several companies have been formed to develop the technologies. There are barriers to overcome before the newest technologies will see widespread use in lab or clinic. One is the cost. Whole-genome sequencing is getting cheaper, but researchers often need to repeat it many times to boost the resolution of their results7. But researchers are confident that these roadblocks won't remain. “There's work to be done here, but it's not an unsolvable problem from a technical perspective,” says Shendure. Interpreting the results will be another sticking point. Not all DNA changes cause disorders. And even if an individual carries a specific mutation, scientists cannot yet be sure that it will always result in disease. But as costs drop, scientists say, they will be able to sequence enough genomes to learn which mutations predict disorders with high probability. They then hope to see non-invasive whole-genome sequencing applied as a screening tool during pregnancy. “This is the kind of thing you could imagine would be incredibly useful in diagnosing metabolic and immune disorders where you want to treat the baby right when they're born,” says Quake. And even before birth might be an option. A team of scientists is already using next-generation sequencing of specific genes to diagnose brittle-bone disease in fetuses as part of a clinical trial that uses stem cells to treat the condition in the womb. The researchers are currently obtaining the fetal cells through invasive sampling techniques, but aim to switch to non-invasive testing. DNA is but the start of the story of human development. Researchers are keen to understand how instructions in the genome are deployed in time and space as a fetus grows, and how this goes wrong during disease. Many are therefore focusing on the molecule RNA, which the cell uses to copy — and then act on — a given set of DNA instructions. And that presents fresh challenges. RNA breaks down very quickly, so it is harder to work with than DNA, especially when trying to untangle a fetus's output of RNA — its transcriptome — from the mother's. To simplify things, clinician and geneticist Diana Bianchi, now director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland, began by studying the transcriptome of amniotic fluid, which contains freely floating RNA from fetus and placenta. Over the past decade, her team has built up intriguing snapshots of gene activity through the second and third trimesters (from discarded samples taken during amniocentesis tests), and at term (from samples gleaned during Caesarean sections), as well as some work with maternal blood, which bears free-floating RNA fragments from fetus, mother and placenta. She has shown how a full-term fetus switches on just the sorts of genes that might be expected for a baby gearing up to be born — including ones involved in lung and gut physiology, energy metabolism, the immune system and the eye8. Genes involved in smell ramp up, too, “which we think has some evolutionary advantage”, says Bianchi, “because the baby needs to know the smell of its own mother, for survival reasons”. Much of Bianchi's work has focused on amniotic-fluid samples from fetuses affected by chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down's syndrome (an extra chromosome 21) and Edward's syndrome (an extra chromosome 18). She finds that gene activity is abnormal across the whole genome, not just on the extra chromosome, and even in genes needed for brain development9. She's also found that cells of fetuses with Down's incur damage from the by-products of metabolism, a condition known as oxidative stress10. This raises the provocative possibility of treating fetuses in the womb to ameliorate the cognitive impairment associated with Down's. To explore this, Bianchi's team compared transcriptome data from fetuses with and without Down's, and mouse models of the syndrome, to pinpoint patterns associated with the condition11. Then they scoured a database for molecules that might reverse some of the abnormal patterns, including some drugs that are already approved for human use. They fed one of these molecules, called apigenin, to pregnant 'Down's syndrome' mice and in unpublished data found that the offspring had improved memory and met developmental milestones sooner than those whose mothers did not get the compound. “It's not that everything gets better, but certain areas do improve,” says Bianchi. “We are very encouraged.” Bianchi and others in the field are now seeking ways to get more detailed information, non-invasively, about fetal RNA. Until recently, the work has been done using devices called microarrays, which allow scientists to detect known RNA sequences. Although valuable, they offer limited insight because much about the transcriptome remains mysterious. A version of next-generation DNA sequencing called RNA-seq reveals the transcriptome in all its complex glory, and quantifies each RNA type much more accurately. Researchers have shown that such an approach is possible12, 13. In 2014, for example, Quake's team examined blood samples from pregnant women using RNA-seq, in combination with other methods, to detect RNAs that probably originated in the fetus and placenta12. They could track the ebbs and flows of transcripts through all three trimesters, including the activity of genes that are crucial for normal brain development. Now they are hunting for transcripts that could yield insight into conditions associated with pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia, in which problems with the placenta cause dangerously high blood pressure in the mother. The placenta is also the focus of an RNA-seq project led by Williams and RNA biologist Thomas Tuschl at the Rockefeller University in New York City. They are focusing on microRNA (miRNA), a kind of RNA that's known to control the activity of genes, in the hope of uncovering insight into placental biology and devising early-warning tests for pre-eclampsia and other pregnancy conditions. Existing tests, such as looking for protein in the mother's urine, don't reveal the disease until the mother has already started to develop organ damage, says Williams. His team hopes to use miRNA to monitor the placenta non-invasively, and detect pre-eclampsia before damage takes hold. But such methods still need more work to ensure accuracy and reproducibility before their full potential can be realized, he says. The third piece of the puzzle is how conditions in the womb affect fetal development. Researchers have long known that environmental exposures during this delicate time can influence an individual's lifelong health. Babies whose mothers smoke during pregnancy, for example, grow more slowly in the womb and have an increased risk of developing respiratory diseases and obesity, and studies14 suggest that smoking alters the transcriptome of the placenta. One way in which the environment exerts such effects is by altering chemical marks on DNA and the proteins that package up the genome — thereby altering the activities of genes without changing the DNA sequence. The best-studied of these 'epigenetic' marks are methyl groups that, when added to or removed from DNA, boost or silence gene activity. Researchers are using microarrays as well as a form of DNA sequencing known as bisulfite sequencing to lay bare these methylation patterns across the whole genome in samples from maternal blood and fetuses. That includes the all-important placenta. One surprise from studies of placental tissue is just how dynamic placental methylation is, says Wendy Robinson, a developmental biologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. The most striking trimester-to-trimester changes are in genes related to immune-system functions, possibly reflecting the placenta's role as a peacemaker between the mother's immune cells and the fetus. Researchers are itching to understand changes in DNA methylation in pregnancy conditions and after environmental assaults such as smoking. Indeed, studies already suggest that smoking during pregnancy may lead to altered methylation patterns in placental DNA15. Lo's group has shown that it can do bisulfite sequencing on fetal DNA in blood samples. But the complexity of unravelling links between environment and epigenetics makes it hard to draw definitive conclusions for these samples yet, says Robinson. Researchers are therefore focusing on studies of placental tissue for now. The promises of all these technologies raise issues that should be debated sooner rather than later, say scientists and bioethicists — not least because there are concerns about the NIPT tests already on the market. These tests have spread fast: since becoming commercially available in 2011, NIPT for missing or extra chromosomes (aneuploidies) is now being used in at least 90 countries. And millions of women have had the tests. NIPT for aneuploidy is a dramatic improvement, says Bianchi. Globally, it has led to a 70% reduction in invasive procedures such as amniocentesis, which carry a small risk of triggering miscarriage. But NIPT can't diagnose aneuploidies reliably, she says: it is a screen, and other, more-invasive diagnostic tests must be used to follow up on the findings. Nonetheless, some women have opted to terminate their pregnancies on the basis of NIPT results alone. Concerns such as these have led several societies to publish position statements that give recommendations for how to counsel patients. The situation stands to get even murkier. Careless talk about the epigenetics of pregnancy risks scapegoating women for their babies' ill health, when problems such as obesity and gestational diabetes can stem from many factors, including poverty and poor access to health care, say social scientists. Women must also prepare for unexpected findings, researchers say — and not just about their fetuses. In several cases, non-invasive fetal screening has picked up undiagnosed cancers and diseases such as lupus in pregnant women. And sequencing will sometimes reveal fetal DNA variants that increase the risk of conditions later in life, such as breast cancer or neurodegenerative diseases. Medical researchers say that clinicians must prepare what to share with patients, even as the light-speed pace of invention and discovery outstrips their ability to interpret the findings. It is always hard to balance the right to know against the potential harm of revealing the presence of a DNA variant — especially if scientists can't be sure what the effect of that variant will be, says Shendure. “It's just going to get really tricky.”


Benavente O.R.,University of British Columbia | Hart R.G.,Population Health Research Institute | McClure L.A.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Szychowski J.M.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Coffey C.S.,University of Iowa
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Lacunar infarcts are a frequent type of stroke caused mainly by cerebral small-vessel disease. The effectiveness of antiplatelet therapy for secondary prevention has not been defined. METHODS: We conducted a double-blind, multicenter trial involving 3020 patients with recent symptomatic lacunar infarcts identified by magnetic resonance imaging. Patients were randomly assigned to receive 75 mg of clopidogrel or placebo daily; patients in both groups received 325 mg of aspirin daily. The primary outcome was any recurrent stroke, including ischemic stroke and intracranial hemorrhage. RESULTS: The participants had a mean age of 63 years, and 63% were men. After a mean follow-up of 3.4 years, the risk of recurrent stroke was not significantly reduced with aspirin and clopidogrel (dual antiplatelet therapy) (125 strokes; rate, 2.5% per year) as compared with aspirin alone (138 strokes, 2.7% per year) (hazard ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 1.16), nor was the risk of recurrent ischemic stroke (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.63 to 1.09) or disabling or fatal stroke (hazard ratio, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.69 to 1.64). The risk of major hemorrhage was almost doubled with dual antiplatelet therapy (105 hemorrhages, 2.1% per year) as compared with aspirin alone (56, 1.1% per year) (hazard ratio, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.41 to 2.71; P<0.001). Among classifiable recurrent ischemic strokes, 71% (133 of 187) were lacunar strokes. All-cause mortality was increased among patients assigned to receive dual antiplatelet therapy (77 deaths in the group receiving aspirin alone vs. 113 in the group receiving dual antiplatelet therapy) (hazard ratio, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.14 to 2.04; P = 0.004); this difference was not accounted for by fatal hemorrhages (9 in the group receiving dual antiplatelet therapy vs. 4 in the group receiving aspirin alone). CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with recent lacunar strokes, the addition of clopidogrel to aspirin did not significantly reduce the risk of recurrent stroke and did significantly increase the risk of bleeding and death. (Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and others; SPS3 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00059306.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.


Muja M.,BitLit Media Inc | Lowe D.G.,University of British Columbia
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence | Year: 2014

For many computer vision and machine learning problems, large training sets are key for good performance. However, the most computationally expensive part of many computer vision and machine learning algorithms consists of finding nearest neighbor matches to high dimensional vectors that represent the training data. We propose new algorithms for approximate nearest neighbor matching and evaluate and compare them with previous algorithms. For matching high dimensional features, we find two algorithms to be the most efficient: the randomized k-d forest and a new algorithm proposed in this paper, the priority search k-means tree. We also propose a new algorithm for matching binary features by searching multiple hierarchical clustering trees and show it outperforms methods typically used in the literature. We show that the optimal nearest neighbor algorithm and its parameters depend on the data set characteristics and describe an automated configuration procedure for finding the best algorithm to search a particular data set. In order to scale to very large data sets that would otherwise not fit in the memory of a single machine, we propose a distributed nearest neighbor matching framework that can be used with any of the algorithms described in the paper. All this research has been released as an open source library called fast library for approximate nearest neighbors (FLANN), which has been incorporated into OpenCV and is now one of the most popular libraries for nearest neighbor matching. © 2014 IEEE.


Eisen A.,University of British Columbia | Kuwabara S.,Chiba University
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry | Year: 2012

In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), hand muscle wasting preferentially affects the 'thenar (lateral) hand', including the abductor pollicis brevis (APB) and first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscles, with relative sparing of the hypothenar muscles (the abductor digiti minimi (ADM)). This peculiar pattern of dissociated atrophy of the intrinsic hand muscles is termed the 'split hand' and is rarely seen in diseases other than ALS. The muscles involved in the split hand are innervated through the same spinal segments (C8 and T1), and FDI and ADM, which are differentially affected, are both ulnar nerve innervated. The physiological mechanisms underlying the split hand in ALS are incompletely understood but both cortical and spinal/peripheral mechanisms are probably involved. Motor potentials evoked by magnetic stimulation are significantly smaller when recorded from the thenar complex, compared with the hypothenar muscles, supporting a cortical mechanism. But peripheral axonal excitability studies have suggested that APB/FDI motor axons have more prominent persistent sodium currents than ADM axons, leading to higher axonal excitability and thereby more ready degeneration. Pincer or precision grip is vital to human hand function, and frequent use of thenar complex muscles may lead to greater oxidative stress and metabolic demands at both upper and lower motoneurons innervating the APB and FDI. The split hand is a useful diagnostic sign in early ALS, and recent objective studies indicate that the sign has a high degree of specificity.


Balmforth N.J.,University of British Columbia | Frigaard I.A.,University of British Columbia | Ovarlez G.,University Paris Est Creteil
Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics | Year: 2014

The archetypal feature of a viscoplastic fluid is its yield stress: If the material is not sufficiently stressed, it behaves like a solid, but once the yield stress is exceeded, the material flows like a fluid. Such behavior characterizes materials common in industries such as petroleum and chemical processing, cosmetics, and food processing and in geophysical fluid dynamics. The most common idealization of a viscoplastic fluid is the Bingham model, which has been widely used to rationalize experimental data, even though it is a crude oversimplification of true rheological behavior. The popularity of the model is in its apparent simplicity. Despite this, the sudden transition between solid-like behavior and flow introduces significant complications into the dynamics, which, as a result, has resisted much analysis. Over recent decades, theoretical developments, both analytical and computational, have provided a better understanding of the effect of the yield stress. Simultaneously, greater insight into the material behavior of real fluids has been afforded by advances in rheometry. These developments have primed us for a better understanding of the various applications in the natural and engineering sciences. Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Lesk C.,McGill University | Rowhani P.,University of Sussex | Ramankutty N.,McGill University | Ramankutty N.,University of British Columbia
Nature | Year: 2016

In recent years, several extreme weather disasters have partially or completely damaged regional crop production. While detailed regional accounts of the effects of extreme weather disasters exist, the global scale effects of droughts, floods and extreme temperature on crop production are yet to be quantified. Here we estimate for the first time, to our knowledge, national cereal production losses across the globe resulting from reported extreme weather disasters during 1964-2007. We show that droughts and extreme heat significantly reduced national cereal production by 9-10%, whereas our analysis could not identify an effect from floods and extreme cold in the national data. Analysing the underlying processes, we find that production losses due to droughts were associated with a reduction in both harvested area and yields, whereas extreme heat mainly decreased cereal yields. Furthermore, the results highlight ∼7% greater production damage from more recent droughts and 8-11% more damage in developed countries than in developing ones. Our findings may help to guide agricultural priorities in international disaster risk reduction and adaptation efforts. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Cenfetelli R.T.,University of British Columbia | Schwarz A.,Louisiana State University
Information Systems Research | Year: 2011

An important area of information systems (IS) research has been the identification of the individual-level Abeliefs that enable technology acceptance such as the usefulness, reliability, and flexibility of a system. This study posits the existence of additional beliefs that inhibit usage intentions and thus foster technology rejection rather than acceptance. We theorize that these inhibitors are more than just the antipoles of enablers (e.g., the opposite of usefulness or reliability) and so are distinct constructs worthy of their own investigation. Inhibitors are proposed to have effects on usage intentions beyond that of enablers as well as effects on enablers themselves. We report on a series of empirical studies designed to test the existence and effects of inhibitors. A candidate set of six inhibitors is shown to be distinct from enablers. These inhibitors are subsequently tested in a field study of 387 individuals nested within 32 different websites. Effects at both individual and website unit levels of analysis are tested using multilevel modeling. We find that inhibitors have negative effects on usage intentions, as well as on enablers, and these effects vary contingent upon individual or website unit levels of analysis. The overall results support the existence and importance of inhibitors in explaining individual intent to use-or not use-technology. © 2011 INFORMS.


Webb J.,University of British Columbia | Cribier A.,Charles University
European Heart Journal | Year: 2011

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is assuming a major role in the routine management of patients with aortic stenosis. Surgical aortic valve replacement is generally accepted to prolong survival, on the basis of historical comparisons and long experience. However, recently percutaneous transarterial TAVI has assumed the position as the only therapy in any aortic stenosis patient group demonstrated to prolong survival in a randomized trial. Arguably, percutaneous TAVI is now the standard of care in symptomatic patients who are not candidates for conventional surgery. On the basis of almost 10 years of experience TAVI also appears to be a reasonable option for some operable, but high-risk patients. Nevertheless considerable work needs to be done before the indications for TAVI are expanded into lower risk groups. We review what is currently known about percutaneous transarterial implantation of the aortic valve. © 2011 The Author.


Floresco S.B.,University of British Columbia | Jentsch J.D.,University of California at Los Angeles
Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2011

Investigating how different pharmacological compounds may enhance learning, memory, and higher-order cognitive functions in laboratory animals is the first critical step toward the development of cognitive enhancers that may be used to ameliorate impairments in these functions in patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders. Rather than focus on one aspect of cognition, or class of drug, in this review we provide a broad overview of how distinct classes of pharmacological compounds may enhance different types of memory and executive functioning, particularly those mediated by the prefrontal cortex. These include recognition memory, attention, working memory, and different components of behavioral flexibility. A key emphasis is placed on comparing and contrasting the effects of certain drugs on different cognitive and mnemonic functions, highlighting methodological issues associated with this type of research, tasks used to investigate these functions, and avenues for future research. Viewed collectively, studies of the neuropharmacological basis of cognition in rodents and non-human primates have identified targets that will hopefully open new avenues for the treatment of cognitive disabilities in persons affected by mental disorders. © 2011 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved.


Patent
Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research, Vib Vzw, University of Manchester, University of British Columbia and University of Antwerp | Date: 2013-07-01

This document relates to methods and materials for detecting mutations that can be linked to dementia. For example, methods and materials for detecting one or more mutations within PGRN nucleic acid are provided. This document also provides methods and materials for detecting the level of progranulin expression. In addition, this document relates to methods and materials for treating mammals having a neurodegenerative disorder (e.g., dementia). For example, methods and materials for increasing PGRN polypeptide levels in mammals are provided, as are methods and materials for identifying agents that can be used to increase PGRN polypeptide levels in mammals.


Patent
Mayo Foundation For Medical Education And Research, University of Manchester, University of British Columbia, Vib Vzw and University of Antwerp | Date: 2014-01-22

This document relates to methods and materials for detecting mutations that can be linked to dementia. For example, methods and materials for detecting one or more mutations within PGRN nucleic acid are provided. This document also provides methods and materials for detecting the level of progranulin expression. In addition, this document relates to methods and materials for treating mammals having a neurodegenerative disorder (e.g., dementia). For example, methods and materials for increasing PGRN polypeptide levels in mammals are provided, as are methods and materials for identifying agents that can be used to increase PGRN polypeptide levels in mammals.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

A laser-driven tidal wave could test a question that has long plagued physics: is the information inside a black hole lost forever or somehow preserved through the mysterious machinations of quantum mechanics? The defining feature of a black hole is thought to be that anything that crosses the event horizon – the proverbial point of no return – can never escape and is lost forever. But in the 1970s, Stephen Hawking discovered that black holes aren’t truly black. If a virtual particle pair pops into existence near the event horizon, and one falls in, the black hole must lose a tiny bit of mass in the form of energy. So black holes will radiate tiny amounts of energy – dubbed Hawking radiation – and evaporate over time. The bigger the black hole, the longer it takes to evaporate. So what happens to everything that has fallen into the black hole? Logic dictates it, too, should be lost. But quantum mechanics holds that information must be conserved and cannot be lost – hence the paradox. Unfortunately, there’s no good way to study an actual black hole up close to test what’s really going on. So physicists have been exploring “analogue” black holes that mathematically mimic their celestial counterparts. One possibility is that the information is preserved via entangled photons, which share a quantum relationship with each other no matter how distant they are, and is released in a burst of energy as the black hole winks out of existence. If physicists could find correlations between the original escaped partner and a photon re-emitted as radiation, this would be strong evidence that information is indeed conserved. Researchers have suggested that an accelerated mirror could mimic a black hole’s event horizon, giving physicists a way to look for these correlations in the lab. Photons reflected back from the mirror would represent the Hawking radiation, and photons trapped at the moving mirror boundary would be the abandoned partners. When the mirror stops moving, it should create a sudden burst of energy, similar to the death throes of a black hole. Pisin Chen of National Taiwan University and Gerard Mourou of École Polytechnique in France realised that a next-generation particle accelerator called a plasma wakefield accelerator could act like such a mirror. These accelerators work by shooting pulses of intense laser light into plasma to create a wave rippling through the cloud of ionised gas, leaving a wake of electrons akin to those that form behind a speedboat in water. As more electrons are pumped into the system, they draw energy from surfing that wake and accelerate, building in intensity like a tsunami. “In order to create such plasma ‘wakefields’, the laser must dump its energy into the plasma,” says Chen. “By the law of conservation of energy, the laser pulse as well as its wakefield must therefore both slow down.” To counter this tendency, Chen and Mourou devised a way to accelerate the plasma wakefield itself, which can be thought of as a plasma mirror. This can be done, they demonstrate, by tailoring a plasma in such a way that its density increases gradually. Chen and Mourou have yet to build such an experiment, but they believe it can be done with existing technology. The setup could also be used to model other properties of black hole, such as how it distorts space-time. The scheme is “interesting but hard”, says William Unruh at the University of British Columbia, Canada, who has proposed other black hole analogue experiments. “It is very, very easy to lose entanglement into the environment.”


LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 13, 2017) - Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( : RTTR) ("Ritter Pharmaceuticals" or the "Company"), a developer of novel therapeutic products that modulate the human gut microbiome to treat gastrointestinal diseases, today announced that it is collaborating with Dr. B Brett Finlay from the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia ("UBC") to study the role of the microbiome and RP-G28 in environmental enteropathy ("EE"). As part of the collaboration, Dr. B. Brett Finlay, an award-winning microbiologist in the fields of innate immunity and microbiome research, plans to explore the microbiome's role in environmental enteropathy. The pre-clinical research is designed to build upon Dr. Finlay's previously published studies demonstrating the gut microbiome's role in contributing to the causes of EE. Ritter Pharmaceuticals is providing its lead compound, RP-G28, for use in the study. RP-G28 is currently in a Phase 2b/3 study in humans for the treatment of lactose intolerance. In previous human studies, RP-G28 has demonstrated significant beneficial changes to the gut microbiome that have been associated with potential to improve a variety of digestive disorders. Andrew J. Ritter, Co-founder and President of Ritter Pharmaceuticals, added, "we are pleased to be collaborating with Dr. Finlay and his team to better understand therapeutic interventions that may reverse signs of environmental enteropathy, a significant worldwide health issue. We're excited to apply our clinical knowledge of RP-G28 in a way that has significant possibilities to produce substantial social benefits in developing countries." Dr. B Brett Finlay, Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories, and the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Microbiology and Immunology at the University of British Columbia, added, "We are pleased to be working with Ritter Pharmaceuticals to explore potential treatments and therapies to environmental enteropathy that affects so many of the world's children. Testing RP-G28 in the relevant model will greatly facilitate preclinical testing of this compound for affecting the outcome of EE." Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (www.RitterPharma.com, @RitterPharma) develops novel therapeutic products that modulate the gut microbiome to treat gastrointestinal diseases. Its lead product, RP-G28, has the potential to become the first FDA-approved treatment for lactose intolerance, a condition that affects millions worldwide. The company is further exploring the functionality and discovering the therapeutic potential gut microbiome changes may have on treating/preventing a variety of conditions including: gastrointestinal diseases, immuno-oncology, metabolic, and liver disease. About the University of British Columbia The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC's entrepreneurial spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. UBC encourages its students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world. This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements related to our ability to bring RP-G28 to market. Management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made. However, such statements involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company's future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks associated with the drug development process generally, including the outcomes of planned clinical trials and the regulatory review process. For a discussion of certain risks and uncertainties affecting Ritter Pharmaceuticals' forward-looking statements, please review the Company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2015 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the periods ended March 31, 2016, June 30, 2016 and September 30, 2016. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. These statements are based on management's current expectations and Ritter Pharmaceuticals does not undertake any responsibility to revise or update any forward-looking statements contained herein, except as expressly required by law.


Lovering A.L.,University of Birmingham | Safadi S.S.,University of British Columbia | Strynadka N.C.J.,University of British Columbia
Annual Review of Biochemistry | Year: 2012

The peptidoglycan biosynthetic pathway is a critical process in the bacterial cell and is exploited as a target for the design of antibiotics. This pathway culminates in the production of the peptidoglycan layer, which is composed of polymerized glycan chains with cross-linked peptide substituents. This layer forms the major structural component of the protective barrier known as the cell wall. Disruption in the assembly of the peptidoglycan layer causes a weakened cell wall and subsequent bacterial lysis. With bacteria responsible for both properly functioning human health (probiotic strains) and potentially serious illness (pathogenic strains), a delicate balance is necessary during clinical intervention. Recent research has furthered our understanding of the precise molecular structures, mechanisms of action, and functional interactions involved in peptidoglycan biosynthesis. This research is helping guide our understanding of how to capitalize on peptidoglycan-based therapeutics and, at a more fundamental level, of the complex machinery that creates this critical barrier for bacterial survival. © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Andrade J.,Montreal Heart Institute | Andrade J.,University of British Columbia | Khairy P.,Montreal Heart Institute | Dobrev D.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Nattel S.,Montreal Heart Institute
Circulation Research | Year: 2014

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia (estimated lifetime risk, 22%-26%). The aim of this article is to review the clinical epidemiological features of AF and to relate them to underlying mechanisms. Long-established risk factors for AF include aging, male sex, hypertension, valve disease, left ventricular dysfunction, obesity, and alcohol consumption. Emerging risk factors include prehypertension, increased pulse pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, high-level physical training, diastolic dysfunction, predisposing gene variants, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and congenital heart disease. Potential risk factors are coronary artery disease, kidney disease, systemic inflammation, pericardial fat, and tobacco use. AF has substantial population health consequences, including impaired quality of life, increased hospitalization rates, stroke occurrence, and increased medical costs. The pathophysiology of AF centers around 4 general types of disturbances that promote ectopic firing and reentrant mechanisms, and include the following: (1) ion channel dysfunction, (2) Ca-handling abnormalities, (3) structural remodeling, and (4) autonomic neural dysregulation. Aging, hypertension, valve disease, heart failure, myocardial infarction, obesity, smoking, diabetes mellitus, thyroid dysfunction, and endurance exercise training all cause structural remodeling. Heart failure and prior atrial infarction also cause Ca-handling abnormalities that lead to focal ectopic firing via delayed afterdepolarizations/triggered activity. Neural dysregulation is central to atrial arrhythmogenesis associated with endurance exercise training and occlusive coronary artery disease. Monogenic causes of AF typically promote the arrhythmia via ion channel dysfunction, but the mechanisms of the more common polygenic risk factors are still poorly understood and under intense investigation. Better recognition of the clinical epidemiology of AF, as well as an improved appreciation of the underlying mechanisms, is needed to develop improved methods for AF prevention and management. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.


Singleton A.B.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | Farrer M.J.,University of British Columbia | Bonifati V.,Erasmus University Rotterdam
Movement Disorders | Year: 2013

The past 15 years has witnessed tremendous progress in our understanding of the genetic basis for Parkinson's disease (PD). Notably, whereas most mutations, such as those in SNCA, PINK1, PARK2, PARK7, PLA2G6, FBXO7, and ATP13A2, are a rare cause of disease, one particular mutation in LRRK2 has been found to be common in certain populations. There has been considerable progress in finding risk loci. To date, approximately 16 such loci exist; notably, some of these overlap with the genes known to contain disease-causing mutations. The identification of risk alleles has relied mostly on the application of revolutionary technologies; likewise, second-generation sequencing methods have facilitated the identification of new mutations in PD. These methods will continue to provide novel insights into PD. The utility of genetics in therapeutics relies primarily on leveraging findings to understand the pathogenesis of PD. Much of the investigation into the biology underlying PD has used these findings to define a pathway, or pathways, to pathogenesis by trying to fit disparate genetic defects onto the same network. This work has had some success, particularly in the context of monogenic disease, and is beginning to provide clues about potential therapeutic targets. Approaches toward therapies are also being provided more directly by genetics, notably by the reduction and clearance of alpha-synuclein and inhibition of Lrrk2 kinase activity. We believe this has been an exciting, productive time for PD genetics and, furthermore, that genetics will continue to drive the etiologic understanding and etiology-based therapeutic approaches in this disease. © 2013 Movement Disorders Society.


Raussendorf R.,University of British Columbia | Wei T.C.,University of British Columbia | Wei T.C.,State University of New York at Stony Brook
Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics | Year: 2012

Quantum computation is a novel way of information processing that allows, for certain classes of problems, exponential speedups over classical computation. Various models of quantum computation exist, such as the adiabatic, circuit, and measurement-based models. They have been proven equivalent in their computational power, but operate very differently. As such, they may be suitable for realization in different physical systems, and also offer different perspectives on open questions such as the precise origin of the quantum speedup. Here, we give an introduction to the one-way quantum computer, a scheme of measurement-based quantum computation (MBQC). In this model, the computation is driven by local measurements on a carefully chosen, highly entangled state. We discuss various aspects of this computational scheme, such as the role of entanglement and quantum correlations. We also give examples for ground states of simple Hamiltonians that enable universal quantum computation by local measurements. Copyright © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Gillis J.,Stanley Institute for Cognitive Genomics | Pavlidis P.,University of British Columbia
Bioinformatics | Year: 2013

Motivation: The Gene Ontology (GO) is heavily used in systems biology, but the potential for redundancy, confounds with other data sources and problems with stability over time have been little explored.Results: We report that GO annotations are stable over short periods, with 3% of genes not being most semantically similar to themselves between monthly GO editions. However, we find that genes can alter their 'functional identity' over time, with 20% of genes not matching to themselves (by semantic similarity) after 2 years. We further find that annotation bias in GO, in which some genes are more characterized than others, has declined in yeast, but generally increased in humans. Finally, we discovered that many entries in protein interaction databases are owing to the same published reports that are used for GO annotations, with 66% of assessed GO groups exhibiting this confound. We provide a case study to illustrate how this information can be used in analyses of gene sets and networks.Availability: Data available at http://chibi.ubc.ca/assessGO. © 2013 The Author.


Strasburg J.L.,Indiana University Bloomington | Rieseberg L.H.,University of British Columbia
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2011

The question of whether speciation can occur in the presence of gene flow has long been a contentious one. However, measuring the amount and timing of gene flow remains challenging. The computer program IMa2 allows researchers to estimate the timing of migration events for each locus during analyses, and these estimates have been used to infer the timing of introgression and mode of speciation. We use simulated data sets to examine the degree to which gene-flow timing estimates can be used for these purposes, and what demographic conditions and data sets may be most amenable to gene-flow timing estimation. We find that the 90% highest posterior density (HPD) interval of gene-flow timing is almost always substantially wider than the actual window of gene flow, and increasing the information content of the data set in terms of number of loci, number of sequences sampled or locus length (and thus number of variable sites) has little impact on the posterior distribution over the range of values we tested. Even when simulated gene flow only occurred over the most recent 0.01% of the species' history, the HPD interval usually encompasses the inferred divergence time. Our results indicate that gene-flow timing estimates made using the method currently implemented in IMa2 cannot reliably be used to make inferences about the timing of introgression between diverged species or to distinguish between speciation with gene flow and allopatric speciation followed by one or more episodes of gene flow. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Patent
University of British Columbia, University of Western Australia and Forest Products Commission | Date: 2015-02-20

An isolated nucleic acid molecule that encodes a terpene synthase and is selected from among: a) a nucleic acid molecule comprising the sequence of nucleotides set forth in SEQ ID NO: 1, SEQ ID NO: 3 or SEQ ID NO: 5; b) a nucleic acid molecule that is a fragment of (a); c) a nucleic acid molecule comprising a sequence of nucleotides that is complementary to (a) or (b); and d) a nucleic acid molecule that encodes a terpene synthase having at least or at least about 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, 96%, 97%, 98%, 99% identity to any one of (a)-(c); wherein the nucleic acid molecule encodes a terpene synthase.


Jaeger J.M.,University of Florida | Koppes M.N.,University of British Columbia
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2016

Glacial erosion and sediment production are of interest to diverse scientific communities concerned with the interaction of climatic, tectonic and surface processes that influence the evolution of orogens and with the climatic signals archived in glacigenic strata. We review the current state of knowledge on the generation, transfer, and accumulation of glacigenic sediment from land to sea. We draw from geomorphology, marine geology, geochronology, numerical modeling of surface processes and landscape evolution, and experimental and field observations of glacier erosion and deposition, and the interaction of ice with its bed and the ocean boundary. Our primary goal is to examine glacial systems using a holistic source-to-sink approach, with a focus on describing a) how glacial motion produces sediment, b) how the sediments (sink) record the dynamic nature of glacial systems under different climatic (thermal) regimes, c) the challenges in using the sedimentary record to interpret these dynamics in space and time, and d) the approaches still needed to further our understanding of how ice and associated sediment fluxes respond to climatic and other perturbations. The dynamic state of ice, i.e., the ice flux and ice extent, is defined differently between the source and sink communities, reflecting the challenges of establishing a stratigraphic signal that volumetrically constrains glacigenic sediment production as a function of the ice response to climate. Advances in marine geophysics have greatly assisted our understanding of mass transfer pathways and of former ice extents as a measure of ice dynamics, and have identified the primary depocenters and key lithofacies of glacial sinks. Sediment fluxes associated with the dynamic state of the ice are best constrained where sediment volumes derived from key lithofacies and seismic reflection isopachs can be temporally partitioned, of which there are few examples, rather than from discrete point measures of sediment flux that are subject to sediment transfer biases. Forward numerical modeling of sediment fluxes as a function of ice dynamics agree with observational data at the continental-margin scale, but finer time/space scale ice-dynamic models do not yet recreate observed ice extent or flowpaths. Future source-to-sink work in glaciated systems should focus on refining empirical relationships between ice velocity and sediment production, and expand the application of existing methods to develop sediment volumes and fluxes in known depocenters of former and modern ice streams. © 2015.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

LONDON (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk, the world's top maker of diabetes drugs, is investing 115 million pounds ($145 million) in a new research centre in Britain, undeterred by Brexit. The Danish company said on Monday it would invest the money over 10 years in the centre based at the University of Oxford, which will employ 100 scientists hunting for new ways to treat type 2 diabetes. Britain's vote last year to leave the European Union was disappointing but did not undermine the case for working with a renowned centre of science, said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Novo's chief scientist. "There's no doubt that Brexit created uncertainty for a period in our deliberations," he told Reuters. "It is unfortunate, but we've passed that challenge and I'm convinced we've no need to worry...Oxford is a worldwide powerhouse in medicine." The decision was welcomed by the government of Prime Minister Theresa May, who last week highlighted life sciences when she laid out a new industrial strategy designed to rebalance Britain's heavily services-based economy after it leaves the EU. Treasury minister David Gauke said Novo's move was "a vote of confidence in the UK's position as a world-leader in science and research". Brexit has raised concerns in the life sciences sector, with academics fretting over a potential gap in funding currently provided by the EU and drugmakers concerned over future medicine regulation. The European Medicines Agency - based in London for now, but likely to move after Brexit - currently offers a one-stop-shop for drug approvals, smoothing the sale of pharmaceuticals across borders. Given these challenges, some drug company executives have warned that Britain could lose its appeal as a centre for research and manufacturing. Novo's move is therefore reassuring, although the bulk of the company's work in producing new diabetes treatments, including large-scale drug development and manufacturing, will still be done in Denmark. Significantly, Britain's two big domestic drugmakers have both committed to new investments in the country recently. AstraZeneca is finishing a $500 million headquarters and research centre in Cambridge, while GlaxoSmithKline pledged $360 million to expand manufacturing in Britain in July, just five weeks after the Brexit vote. Novo Nordisk has built a booming business over the last two decades by focusing on diabetes, which is a growing problem worldwide, driven by obesity and sedentary lifestyles. More recently, however, it has struggled with squeezed prices in the key U.S. market. It said James Johnson, currently a professor at the University of British Columbia, had been appointed head of the Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford. Johnson is an expert on pancreas biology, insulin action and diabetes. The new set-up will allow for daily interactions between academics at Oxford and Novo's industrial scientists.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

The logo of Danish multinational pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk is pictured on the facade of a production plant in Chartres, north-central France, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Guillaume Souvant/Pool/File Photo LONDON (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk , the world's top maker of diabetes drugs, is investing 115 million pounds in a new research centre in Britain, undeterred by Brexit. The Danish company said on Monday it would invest the money over 10 years in the centre based at the University of Oxford, which will employ 100 scientists hunting for new ways to treat type 2 diabetes. Britain's vote last year to leave the European Union was disappointing but did not undermine the case for working with a renowned centre of science, said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Novo's chief scientist. "There's no doubt that Brexit created uncertainty for a period in our deliberations," he told Reuters. "It is unfortunate, but we've passed that challenge and I'm convinced we've no need to worry...Oxford is a worldwide powerhouse in medicine." The decision was welcomed by the government of Prime Minister Theresa May, who last week highlighted life sciences when she laid out a new industrial strategy designed to rebalance Britain's heavily services-based economy after it leaves the EU. Treasury minister David Gauke said Novo's move was "a vote of confidence in the UK's position as a world-leader in science and research". Brexit has raised concerns in the life sciences sector, with academics fretting over a potential gap in funding currently provided by the EU and drugmakers concerned over future medicine regulation. The European Medicines Agency - based in London for now, but likely to move after Brexit - currently offers a one-stop-shop for drug approvals, smoothing the sale of pharmaceuticals across borders. Given these challenges, some drug company executives have warned that Britain could lose its appeal as a centre for research and manufacturing. Novo's move is therefore reassuring, although the bulk of the company's work in producing new diabetes treatments, including large-scale drug development and manufacturing, will still be done in Denmark. Significantly, Britain's two big domestic drugmakers have both committed to new investments in the country recently. AstraZeneca is finishing a $500 million (£399.2 million) headquarters and research centre in Cambridge, while GlaxoSmithKline pledged $360 million to expand manufacturing in Britain in July, just five weeks after the Brexit vote. Novo Nordisk has built a booming business over the last two decades by focusing on diabetes, which is a growing problem worldwide, driven by obesity and sedentary lifestyles. More recently, however, it has struggled with squeezed prices in the key U.S. market. It said James Johnson, currently a professor at the University of British Columbia, had been appointed head of the Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford. Johnson is an expert on pancreas biology, insulin action and diabetes. The new set-up will allow for daily interactions between academics at Oxford and Novo's industrial scientists.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

The logo of Danish multinational pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk is pictured on the facade of a production plant in Chartres, north-central France, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Guillaume Souvant/Pool/File Photo LONDON (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk, the world's top maker of diabetes drugs, is investing 115 million pounds ($145 million) in a new research centre in Britain, undeterred by Brexit. The Danish company said on Monday it would invest the money over 10 years in the centre based at the University of Oxford, which will employ 100 scientists hunting for new ways to treat type 2 diabetes. Britain's vote last year to leave the European Union was disappointing but did not undermine the case for working with a renowned centre of science, said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, Novo's chief scientist. "There's no doubt that Brexit created uncertainty for a period in our deliberations," he told Reuters. "It is unfortunate, but we've passed that challenge and I'm convinced we've no need to worry...Oxford is a worldwide powerhouse in medicine." The decision was welcomed by the government of Prime Minister Theresa May, who last week highlighted life sciences when she laid out a new industrial strategy designed to rebalance Britain's heavily services-based economy after it leaves the EU. Treasury minister David Gauke said Novo's move was "a vote of confidence in the UK's position as a world-leader in science and research". Brexit has raised concerns in the life sciences sector, with academics fretting over a potential gap in funding currently provided by the EU and drugmakers concerned over future medicine regulation. The European Medicines Agency - based in London for now, but likely to move after Brexit - currently offers a one-stop-shop for drug approvals, smoothing the sale of pharmaceuticals across borders. Given these challenges, some drug company executives have warned that Britain could lose its appeal as a centre for research and manufacturing. Novo's move is therefore reassuring, although the bulk of the company's work in producing new diabetes treatments, including large-scale drug development and manufacturing, will still be done in Denmark. Significantly, Britain's two big domestic drugmakers have both committed to new investments in the country recently. AstraZeneca is finishing a $500 million headquarters and research centre in Cambridge, while GlaxoSmithKline pledged $360 million to expand manufacturing in Britain in July, just five weeks after the Brexit vote. Novo Nordisk has built a booming business over the last two decades by focusing on diabetes, which is a growing problem worldwide, driven by obesity and sedentary lifestyles. More recently, however, it has struggled with squeezed prices in the key U.S. market. It said James Johnson, currently a professor at the University of British Columbia, had been appointed head of the Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford. Johnson is an expert on pancreas biology, insulin action and diabetes. The new set-up will allow for daily interactions between academics at Oxford and Novo's industrial scientists.


Molday R.S.,University of British Columbia | Kellner U.,MVZ ADTC Siegburg GmbH | Weber B.H.F.,University of Regensburg
Progress in Retinal and Eye Research | Year: 2012

X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS, MIM 312700) is a common early onset macular degeneration in males characterized by mild to severe loss in visual acuity, splitting of retinal layers, and a reduction in the b-wave of the electroretinogram (ERG). The RS1 gene (MIM 300839) associated with the disease encodes retinoschisin, a 224 amino acid protein containing a discoidin domain as the major structural unit, an N-terminal cleavable signal sequence, and regions responsible for subunit oligomerization. Retinoschisin is secreted from retinal cells as a disulphide-linked homo-octameric complex which binds to the surface of photoreceptors and bipolar cells to help maintain the integrity of the retina. Over 190 disease-causing mutations in the RS1 gene are known with most mutations occurring as non-synonymous changes in the discoidin domain. Cell expression studies have shown that disease-associated missense mutations in the discoidin domain cause severe protein misfolding and retention in the endoplasmic reticulum, mutations in the signal sequence result in aberrant protein synthesis, and mutations in regions flanking the discoidin domain cause defective disulphide-linked subunit assembly, all of which produce a non-functional protein. Knockout mice deficient in retinoschisin have been generated and shown to display most of the characteristic features found in XLRS patients. Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) mediated delivery of the normal RS1 gene to the retina of young knockout mice result in long-term retinoschisin expression and rescue of retinal structure and function providing a 'proof of concept' that gene therapy may be an effective treatment for XLRS. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Xiao B.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Benbasat I.,University of British Columbia
MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems | Year: 2011

With the advent of e-commerce, the potential of new Internet technologies to mislead or deceive consumers has increased considerably. This paper extends prior classifications of deception and presents a typology of product-related deceptive information practices that illustrates the various ways in which online merchants can deceive consumers via e-commerce product websites. The typology can be readily used as educational material to promote consumer awareness of deception in e-commerce and as input to establish benchmarks for good business practices for online companies. In addition, the paper develops an integrative model and a set of theory-based propositions addressing why consumers are deceived by the various types of deceptive information practices and what factors contribute to consumer success (or failure) in detecting such deceptions. The model not only enhances our conceptual understanding of the phenomenon of product-based deception and its outcomes in e-commerce but also serves as a foundation for further theoretical and empirical investigations. Moreover, a better understanding of the factors contributing to or inhibiting deception detection can also help government agencies and consumer organizations design more effective solutions to fight online deception.


Fjell C.D.,University of British Columbia | Hiss J.A.,ETH Zurich | Hancock R.E.W.,University of British Columbia | Schneider G.,ETH Zurich
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery | Year: 2012

Multidrug-resistant bacteria are a severe threat to public health. Conventional antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective as a result of resistance, and it is imperative to find new antibacterial strategies. Natural antimicrobials, known as host defence peptides or antimicrobial peptides, defend host organisms against microbes but most have modest direct antibiotic activity. Enhanced variants have been developed using straightforward design and optimization strategies and are being tested clinically. Here, we describe advanced computer-assisted design strategies that address the difficult problem of relating primary sequence to peptide structure, and are delivering more potent, cost-effective, broad-spectrum peptides as potential next-generation antibiotics. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Battye R.,University of Manchester | Moss A.,University of British Columbia
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2010

We reexamine the constraints on the cosmic string tension from cosmic microwave background (CMB) and matter power spectra, and also from limits on a stochastic background of gravitational waves provided by pulsar timing. We discuss the different approaches to modeling string evolution and radiation. In particular, we show that the unconnected segment model can describe CMB spectra expected from thin string (Nambu) and field theory (Abelian-Higgs) simulations using the computed values for the correlation length, rms string velocity and small-scale structure relevant to each variety of simulation. Applying the computed spectra in a fit to CMB and SDSS data we find that Gμ/c2<2. 6×10-7 (2σ) if the Nambu simulations are correct and Gμ/c2<6.4×10-7 in the Abelian-Higgs case. The degeneracy between Gμ/c2 and the power spectrum slope nS is substantially reduced from previous work. Inclusion of constraints on the baryon density from big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) imply that nS<1 at around the 4σ level for both the Nambu and Abelian-Higgs cases. As a by-product of our results, we find there is "moderate-to-strong" Bayesian evidence that the Harrison-Zel'dovich spectrum is excluded (odds ratio of ∼100 1) by the combination of CMB, SDSS, and BBN when compared to the standard 6 parameter fit. Using the contribution to the gravitational wave background from radiation era loops as a conservative lower bound on the signal for specific values of Gμ/c2 and loop production size, α, we find that Gμ/ c2<7×10-7 for αc2/(ΓGμ)1 and Gμ/c2<5×10-11/α for αc2/(ΓGμ) 1. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Research published today in Environmental Communication suggests that scientists may have more freedom than previously thought to engage in certain forms of climate change advocacy without risking harm to their credibility. The experiment, conducted by researchers at George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication, showed that on five out of six occasions when a fictional scientist made advocacy statements to the public on Facebook, their own and their colleagues credibility was left unharmed. The example statements, tested on a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults, covered a broad spectrum of potential public engagement activities, including a recent scientific finding, a discussion of the risks and impacts of climate change, pros and cons of different proposals to address climate change, a broad call for action on climate change, and two different statements where the scientist endorsed a specific action - limiting carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants or building more nuclear power plants. The only instance where the credibility of the scientist suffered was after the endorsement of a specific controversial policy - building more nuclear power plants. This suggests that the American public are more likely to object to a scientist's advocacy statement when a specific standpoint is endorsed, and not when more general statements are made. It has previously been thought that public advocacy on issues such as climate change can compromise the credibility of both individual scientists and the broader scientific community. However, this study suggests that scientists have the ability to communicate with the public without the risk of harming their reputation. "This study certainly won't end debate about how scientists can best contribute to public discussions about climate change," said lead author John Kotcher, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at George Mason University. "However, we hope that our findings at least help stimulate a more evidence-based conversation among scientists about the relationship between scientific advocacy and credibility, rather than simply relying upon intuition or anecdote to choose which role is best for them." In a commentary that accompanied the study, scientist Simon Donner, from the University of British Columbia, welcomed the findings, but also said that it should "not be mistaken as a green light for scientists to publicly say or do anything without thought about the repercussions for themselves, the scientific community and the audience."


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

OceanWorks International is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrea MacIntosh to the position of Operations Manager effective immediately. Ms. MacIntosh will take the reins of the OceanWorks’ Vancouver facility in anticipation of an expected increase in the number of projects to be completed in 2017. Among her many tasks will be the responsibility of on-time delivery of high quality products and program deliverables to customers. Ms. MacIntosh has over 20 years of experience in progressively more senior positions in the subsea, aerospace, defense, and telecommunications industries. She brings broad experience to the OW team in manufacturing, quality, supply chain and materials, legal, regulatory and environmental compliance, and industrial security. Andrea is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, and holds a degree in Physics. She is also a certified Master Black Belt in Lean, and also holds both Lean Green Belt and Lean Black Belt certifications. OceanWorks International is a subsea solution engineering company, providing over 27 years of service to the Military, Scientific & Environmental, and Oil & Gas markets. Offering a full range of subsea system engineering, design and analysis, fabrication, testing, and project management services, OceanWorks has been at the cutting edge of subsea engineering design, deep submergence and diving technology, operations, and support and looks forward to providing subsea engineering solutions to its customers. For more information regarding OceanWorks International’s products and services visit our website, http://www.oceanworks.com , or contact us at sales(at)oceanworks.com.


The International Nurses Association is pleased to welcome Andrew P. Mardell, RN, to their prestigious organization with his upcoming publication in the Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare. Andrew P. Mardell is a Registered Nurse with 17 years of experience in his field and an extensive expertise in all facets of nursing, especially clinical electrophysiology. Andrew is currently serving patients within Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Andrew P. Mardell attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he graduated with his Nursing Degree in 2000. To keep up to date with the latest advances and developments in his field, Andrew maintains a professional membership with the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society. He attributes his success to enjoying what he does for a living, and his desire to excel. When he is not assisting his patients, Andrew is an aviation enthusiast. Learn more about Andrew P. Mardell here: http://inanurse.org/network/index.php?do=/4136179/info/ and be sure to read his upcoming publication in Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: motherboard.vice.com

Québec's Université Laval has become the first Canadian university to vow to divest from fossil fuels, in an effort to join the global movement towards fossil fuel divestment. Éric Bauce, Laval's executive vice rector in charge of sustainable development, made the announcement last week, following his meeting with the campus activism group 'ULaval sans fossiles,' or "University of Laval without fossil fuels." "Today, Université Laval commits to taking responsible action to switch its endowment fund investments in fossil energy to other types of investments, such as renewable energy," he said in a statement on the university's website. As part of the agreement, the school will form an advisory committee and publish annual reports on the divestment transition. Read More: Fossil Fuel Divestment Has Doubled In The Last 15 Months According to a post by one of the 'ULaval sans fossiles' founders, who met with Bauce, he made the pledge before detailing a timeline of when the university could achieve this, or investigating possible ramifications on its funds. "After two hours of discussions, Bauce put his fist on the table and said that, instead of first seeing if divesting was possible before committing, the university should make the commitment first and then find a way to achieve their goal," the post said. "The case was closed. We had won." Representatives from Université Laval could not be reached to comment on the overall investments of the university or the dollar amount of funds that must now be reallocated. Other Canadian universities have looked into divestment in the past year, with University of Ottawa and University of British Columbia both rejecting to fully commit to the movement, but saying they would reallocate some of their investments into renewable energy. University-based activists from other Canadian campuses reacted to Laval's statement by asking their universities to follow suit, in statements posted on environmental group 350's website. This is exactly how divestment becomes effective as a movement, said CEO of Genus Capital Management Wayne Wachell. "Once one university starts, you'll see a chain reaction," he said in a phone interview. "It's a momentum-building process." Wachell, whose Vancouver-based firm became the first to develop a fossil-free fund in Canada, explained that individuals and institutions typically divest for two reasons: in order not to associate themselves and their brands with climate change, and more practically, to avoid the risk of stranded assets, which lose value before initially expected. As what he called the "bandwagon effect" of the divestment movement grows and countries are pressured to reduce their carbon footprints—through the Paris Agreement, for example—it actually becomes riskier to invest in oil companies, he argued. Outside of the stock market, Wachell said it's increasingly dangerous for universities to risk their image by associating with "stigmatized" products like coal. If your institution's brand is sustainable, he said, "why would you have a dirty portfolio?" Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter .


Kleiger G.,University of Nevada, Las Vegas | Mayor T.,University of British Columbia
Trends in Cell Biology | Year: 2014

Eukaryotic cells are equipped to degrade proteins via the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). Proteins become degraded upon their conjugation to chains of ubiquitin where they are then directed to the 26S proteasome, a macromolecular protease. The transfer of ubiquitin to proteins and their subsequent degradation are highly complex processes, and new research is beginning to uncover the molecular details of how ubiquitination and degradation take place in the cell. We review some of the new data providing insights into how these processes occur. Although distinct mechanisms are often observed, some common themes are emerging for how the UPS guides protein substrates through their final journey. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Cho Y.M.,Seoul National University | Fujita Y.,Asahikawa University | Kieffer T.J.,University of British Columbia
Annual Review of Physiology | Year: 2014

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), an incretin hormone secreted primarily from the intestinal L-cells in response to meals, modulates nutrient homeostasis via actions exerted in multiple tissues and cell types. GLP-1 and its analogs, as well as compounds that inhibit endogenous GLP-1 breakdown, have become an effective therapeutic strategy for many subjects with type 2 diabetes. Here we review the discovery of GLP-1; its synthesis, secretion, and elimination from the circulation; and its multiple pancreatic and extrapancreatic effects. Finally, we review current options for GLP-1-based diabetes therapy, including GLP-1 receptor agonism and inhibition of GLP-1 breakdown, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of different modes of therapy and the potential for new therapeutic avenues. © Copyright ©2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Choptuik M.W.,University of British Columbia | Pretorius F.,Princeton University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We present results from numerical solution of the Einstein field equations describing the head-on collision of two solitons boosted to ultrarelativistic energies. We show, for the first time, that at sufficiently high energies the collision leads to black hole formation, consistent with hoop-conjecture arguments. This implies that the nonlinear gravitational interaction between the kinetic energy of the solitons causes gravitational collapse, and that arguments for black hole formation in super-Planck scale particle collisions are robust. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Cheung W.W.L.,University of British Columbia | Watson R.,University of Tasmania | Pauly D.,University of British Columbia
Nature | Year: 2013

Marine fishes and invertebrates respond to ocean warming through distribution shifts, generally to higher latitudes and deeper waters. Consequently, fisheries should be affected by 'tropicalization' of catch (increasing dominance of warm-water species). However, a signature of such climate-change effects on global fisheries catch has so far not been detected. Here we report such an index, the mean temperature of the catch (MTC), that is calculated from the average inferred temperature preference of exploited species weighted by their annual catch. Our results show that, after accounting for the effects of fishing and large-scale oceanographic variability, global MTC increased at a rate of 0.19 degrees Celsius per decade between 1970 and 2006, and non-tropical MTC increased at a rate of 0.23 degrees Celsius per decade. In tropical areas, MTC increased initially because of the reduction in the proportion of subtropical species catches, but subsequently stabilized as scope for further tropicalization of communities became limited. Changes in MTC in 52 large marine ecosystems, covering the majority of the world's coastal and shelf areas, are significantly and positively related to regional changes in sea surface temperature. This study shows that ocean warming has already affected global fisheries in the past four decades, highlighting the immediate need to develop adaptation plans to minimize the effect of such warming on the economy and food security of coastal communities, particularly in tropical regions. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Kozhimannil K.B.,University of Minnesota | Law M.R.,University of British Columbia | Virnig B.A.,University of Minnesota
Health Affairs | Year: 2013

Cesarean delivery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States, and cesarean rates are increasing. Working with 2009 data from 593 US hospitals nationwide, we found that cesarean rates varied tenfold across hospitals, from 7.1 percent to 69.9 percent. Even for women with lower-risk pregnancies, in which more limited variation might be expected, cesarean rates varied fifteenfold, from 2.4 percent to 36.5 percent. Thus, vast differences in practice patterns are likely to be driving the costly overuse of cesarean delivery in many US hospitals. Because Medicaid pays for nearly half of US births, government efforts to decrease variation are warranted. We focus on four promising directions for reducing these variations, including better coordinating maternity care, collecting and measuring more data, tying Medicaid payment to quality improvement, and enhancing patient-centered decision making through public reporting. © 2013 Project HOPE The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.


Macvicar B.A.,University of British Columbia | Newman E.A.,University of Minnesota
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology | Year: 2015

Neuronal activity results in increased blood flow in the brain, a response named functional hyperemia. Astrocytes play an important role in mediating this response. Neurotransmitters released from active neurons evoke Ca2+ increases in astrocytes, leading to the release of vasoactive metabolites of arachidonic acid from astrocyte endfeet onto blood vessels. Synthesis of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) dilate blood vessels, whereas 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) constricts vessels. The release of K from astrocyte endfeet may also contribute to vasodilation. Oxygen modulates astrocyte regulation of blood flow. Under normoxic conditions, astrocytic Ca2+ signaling results in vasodilation, whereas under hyperoxic conditions, vasoconstriction is favored. Astrocytes also contribute to the generation of vascular tone. Tonic release of both 20-HETE and ATP from astrocytes constricts vascular smooth muscle cells, generating vessel tone. Under pathological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and diabetic reti-nopathy, disruption of normal astrocyte physiology can compromise the regulation of blood flow. © 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.


Patent
Arbutus Biopharma Corporation, University of British Columbia and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals | Date: 2016-12-07

The present invention provides compositions and methods for the delivery of therapeutic agents to cells. In particular, these include novel lipids and nucleic acid-lipid particles that provide efficient encapsulation of nucleic acids and efficient delivery of the encapsulated nucleic acid to cells in vivo. The compositions of the present invention are highly potent, thereby allowing effective knock-down of specific target protein at relatively low doses. In addition, the compositions and methods of the present invention are less toxic and provide a greater therapeutic index compared to compositions and methods previously known in the art.


Patent
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, University of British Columbia and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals | Date: 2012-05-01

The invention features a method of identifying therapeutically relevant compositions which include a therapeutic agent and 2,2-Dilinoley 1-4-dimethylaminomethyl-[1,3]-dioxolane by screening for an effect of the agent on the liver of a model subject.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

It is 2012 and Smiley, a young woman in her early 20s, lives in a single room occupancy (SRO) building in Vancouver. She wants to hang out with her friends in her room, where she feels safe, but the SRO only allows one visitor at a time. "I don't like it. It's their rules. It's really annoying," Smiley said. "It sucks, because I'm not a crackhead or a junkie. They shouldn't put me in places like that." Smiley has been diagnosed with psychosis, a mental disorder where people show signs of delusions and hallucinations. She's one of 17 young people between the ages of 18 to 24 in Metro Vancouver recruited for a study at the University of British Columbia. All participants have experienced symptoms of psychosis in the past three years. "Our study provides a window into what young people think about the mental health services they receive and what they feel helps and hinders their well-being," said lead author Shalini Lal, an assistant professor at the University of Montreal's school of rehabilitation and a researcher at the University of Montreal's Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM). Lal conducted the study as part of her PhD work at UBC's faculty of medicine within the graduate programs of rehabilitation sciences. Through interview excerpts with the youth from November 2010 to March 2012, the study highlights the impacts of mental health services on these young people, including their interactions with psychiatrists, case managers, social workers and supports for housing, recreation, and employment. "Eliciting young people's feedback will lead to better planning and coordination of services that they will find engaging, meaningful and effective," said Lal. The study identifies many different types of supports the youth found helpful, including group therapy and positive interactions with peers and peer support workers. "The groups were very helpful for getting me to acknowledge that I actually had an illness," said Kevin, one of the youth. "(The peer support worker) explained that with the right combination of medications or professional help, you could actually treat the symptoms and live a normal life... a good role model to see that you could recover from it," said Jake, another youth involved in the study. Other types of support the youth identified as helpful were accompaniment to appointments, providing help in completing employment assistance forms and facilitating the process of returning to school. Youth also appreciated emotional support like signs of genuine kindness, hope and encouragement from service providers. "Even small gestures were seen as helpful, ones we may take for granted, like a care manager shaking their hand when they walked in the door," said Lal. "That gesture of respect has a lot of meaning for someone stigmatized by mental illness." When it came to hindrances, some youth felt pigeonholed by their mental illness, being offered services that didn't reflect an identity outside their disorder. A young man named Nelson, who had acting aspirations, told Lal about his disappointment when his job counselor connected him to a theatre company dedicated to "people affected by mental illness." "The most annoying thing is that everything is for mental health reasons and I just don't want this," he said. "If it's a film thing, I don't want it to be just for mentally ill, and just to address stuff like that. I want it to be, just normal." Darren, a 20-year-old living in a downtown youth shelter, didn't own a cellphone and could not receive calls directly from the shelter. His sense of independence and social life were negatively impacted by the shelter's rules of no Facebook access, which was his main way of staying in touch with friends and family. Lal said in some cases the youth also interacted with outreach workers online, which proved useful to providing support to people who would not otherwise receive it any other way. Some youth felt "ghettoized" by their housing situation, only being able to access SROs that housed many others living with mental health and substance abuse issues. Philip, a young man struggling with substance abuse in addition to his psychosis, said living in such an environment threatened his sobriety. "Every time you walk down the street you see someone on a crack pipe, a crystal meth pipe, a pot pipe or drinking alcohol every block you walk here," he said. "And it's nothing but trigger after trigger here, so it's not the right environment for people trying to stay sober. Just being around these kinds of people, it's not the right place for me." The last hindrance was how impersonal the youth felt some of their encounters could be with different support workers, including doctors or therapists. "It was always kind of detached, and I always felt like we were on the clock and not really supported to talk about things like that [relationships]... It just wasn't an environment where I felt comfortable with it," said Kevin. Lal said she has seen more funding and attention being paid to the mental health needs of young people in Canada, especially over the past five years. Lal also said more effort is needed in using tools and resources that cater to youth, including the use of technology to provide support. As well, different sectors of the community, including housing, employment and mental health, need to work more closely together, so people don't feel bounced around. "People often think that it's up to individuals alone to overcome adversity, to deal with a mental illness," Lal said. "For young people, their resiliency largely depends on their ability to navigate and negotiate towards resources, which are all too often substandard, inconsistent or not tailored to their needs." "We learned from this study that when services do match young people's needs and preferences, they can really make a positive impact on their well-being." The study, Impact of Mental Health Services on Resilience in Youth with First Episode Psychosis: A Qualitative Study, was published in print this year in Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. Lal's co-authors are Michael Ungar at Dalhousie University, Ashok Malla at McGill University and Carl Leggo and Melinda Suto at UBC. The 17 youth involved in the study had an average age of 22 and 71 per cent were male. The youth were white, First Nations, Asian and Latin American. Seven of the youth had less than a high school education, five had completed high school, four had some university-level education, and one had completed a bachelor's degree. Names in this study were changed to protect the youths' identities and were chosen by the youth themselves. They are not available for interviews.


The International Nurses Association is pleased to welcome Yasaman Mohammadkhani, RN, to their prestigious organization with her upcoming publication in the Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare. Yasaman Mohammadkhani is a Registered Nurse with two years of experience in her field and an extensive expertise in all facets of nursing, especially cardiac care. Yasaman is currently serving patients within St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Yasaman is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing at British Columbia Institute of Technology in Burnaby, British Columbia. Prior to this, Yasaman studied at Capilano University, Simon Fraser University, and the University of British Columbia. When she is not assisting patients, Yasaman dedicates her free time to playing the violin, swimming, and reading Persian poetry. Learn more about Yasaman Mohammadkhani here: http://inanurse.org/network/index.php?do=/4135399/info/ and be sure to read her upcoming publication in the Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

Be nice – or your dog may judge you. Both pets and monkeys show a preference for people who help others, and this might explain the origins of our sense of morality. Studies involving babies have previously shown that by the age of one, humans are already starting to judge people by how they interact. This has led to suggestions that children have a kind of innate morality that predates their being taught how to behave. Comparative psychologist James Anderson at Kyoto University and his colleagues wondered whether other species make social evaluations in a similar way. They began by testing whether capuchin monkeys would show a preference for people who help others. The capuchins watched an actor struggle to open a container with a toy inside. Then this actor presented the container to a second actor, who would either help or refuse to assist. Afterwards, both actors offered each capuchin food, and the monkey chose which offer to accept. When the companion was helpful, the monkey showed no preference between accepting the reward from the struggler or the helper. But when the companion refused to help, the monkey more often took food from the struggler. The team also investigated capuchins’ attitude to fairness. In this test, two actors began with three balls each. Actor A requested balls from actor B, who handed over three balls. Then actor B requested balls from A, and A either gave three balls back or no balls. Lastly, both actors offered the monkeys a reward as before. The monkeys had no preference when actor A gave back three balls, but chose actor B more often when A had not returned the balls. Finally, the researchers tested whether dogs preferred people who helped their owner. Each owner tried to open a container then presented it to one of two actors. This actor either helped or refused to do so, while the other actor was passive. Then the two actors offered the dog a reward and it chose between them. The dogs had no preference when the first actor had helped their owner, but were more likely to choose the passive actor if the first one had refused to help. Anderson thinks the results show that monkeys and dogs make social evaluations in a somewhat similar way to human infants. “If somebody is behaving antisocially, they probably end up with some sort of emotional reaction to it,” he says. Monkeys in the wild are likely to use similar processes to decide which members of their group they can cooperate with, says primatologist Frans de Waal of Emory University, Georgia, who has written about the origins of morality. “Chances are that if these animals can detect cooperative tendencies in human actors, they also can in their fellow primates,” he says. Dogs’ long relationship with humans means they’ve evolved to be extremely sensitive to our behaviour – not just to the dog, but also to other humans. And our own sense of morality may even have its roots in these sorts of primitive evaluations of others. “I think that in humans there may be this basic sensitivity towards antisocial behaviour in others. Then through growing up, inculturation and teaching, it develops into a full-blown sense of morality,” says Anderson. The capacity to make evaluations of others could help to stabilise complex social systems by enabling individuals to exclude bad social partners, says Kiley Hamlin at the University of British Columbia, Canada. “This exclusion not only means that individuals who make social evaluations can themselves avoid harmful social interactions, but it also could serve to discourage individuals from behaving badly in the first place, as presumably they do not wish to be excluded from the social system,” she says. De Waal sees a strong link between morality and reputation. “Human morality is very much based on reputation building, because why would you try to be good if no one cares?” he says. “I don’t think you can conclude that it makes the monkeys moral beings, but ‘image scoring’, as reputation building is sometimes called, provides an important key mechanism.” Read more: Bonobos know when others are being treated unfairly – and react; Tracing the roots of human morality in animals; A Natural History of Human Morality: Why being good is a miracle


Ticked Off! Here's What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease A new study reveals that India will soon outpace its Asian neighbor, China in the context of increasing air pollution levels. U.S.-based Heath Effects Institute, along with the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation released a report on Feb. 14, which indicates that 1.1 million premature deaths were encountered in 2015 due to increasing air pollution in India. The same statistic applies for China as well, but the country has taken numerous measures to keep a check on carbon emissions and also to stabilize the level of air particulates in the atmosphere. Michael Brauer, a professor at the University of British Columbia and the lead author of the study, states that this situation is the "perfect storm" for India. The report states that the amount of a fine dust particulate matter known as PM2.5 has risen sharply and is largely responsible for the 1.1 million premature deaths in India. Brauer believes that the country's growing industrialization, along with the rapid growth in population, are behind the rise of PM2.5 in India. Per the report, air pollution took 4.2 million lives prematurely all over the world in 2015, out of which 50 percent of the deaths occurred in China and India. Dan Greenbaum, president of Health Effects Institute stated that problems due to air pollution are on a rise worldwide and the new report states clearly why air pollution can be considered to be a major contributor to premature death. The report also contains the reading of a website on the issue, indicating that around 92 percent of the total world's population resides in areas surrounded by unhealthy air. The surprising fact is that, despite glaring evidence linking air pollution with deaths, there are some ministers who are reluctant to accept the connection. "There is no conclusive data available in the country to establish direct correlation-ship of death exclusively with air pollution," said Anil Madhav Dave, India's environment Minister. While the Indian government has never denied the negative impact of air pollution on human health, it is not supportive of the evidence provided by various studies. The government is reluctant to accept the data, which clearly shows that a link exists between air pollution and mortality. The Indian government is backing its stance by stating that the premature deaths could also be the result of other factors like bad food habits, socio economic status, medical history, immunity and many other aspects. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Naus C.C.,University of British Columbia | Laird D.W.,University of Western Ontario
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2010

The idea that the gap junction family of proteins, connexins, are tumour suppressors has been widely supported through numerous cancer models. However, the paradigm that connexins and enhanced gap junctional intercellular communication is of universal benefit by restricting tumour growth has been challenged by more recent evidence that suggests a role for connexins in facilitating tumour progression and metastasis. Therefore, connexins might be better classified as conditional tumour suppressors that modulate cell proliferation, as well as adhesion and migration. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Paterson D.H.,University of Western Ontario | Warburton D.E.R.,University of British Columbia
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity | Year: 2010

Background: The purpose was to conduct systematic reviews of the relationship between physical activity of healthy community-dwelling older (>65 years) adults and outcomes of functional limitations, disability, or loss of independence.Methods: Prospective cohort studies with an outcome related to functional independence or to cognitive function were searched, as well as exercise training interventions that reported a functional outcome. Electronic database search strategies were used to identify citations which were screened (title and abstract) for inclusion. Included articles were reviewed to complete standardized data extraction tables, and assess study quality. An established system of assessing the level and grade of evidence for recommendations was employed.Results: Sixty-six studies met inclusion criteria for the relationship between physical activity and functional independence, and 34 were included with a cognitive function outcome. Greater physical activity of an aerobic nature (categorized by a variety of methods) was associated with higher functional status (expressed by a host of outcome measures) in older age. For functional independence, moderate (and high) levels of physical activity appeared effective in conferring a reduced risk (odds ratio ~0.5) of functional limitations or disability. Limitation in higher level performance outcomes was reduced (odds ratio ~0.5) with vigorous (or high) activity with an apparent dose-response of moderate through to high activity. Exercise training interventions (including aerobic and resistance) of older adults showed improvement in physiological and functional measures, and suggestion of longer-term reduction in incidence of mobility disability. A relatively high level of physical activity was related to better cognitive function and reduced risk of developing dementia; however, there were mixed results of the effects of exercise interventions on cognitive function indices.Conclusions: There is a consistency of findings across studies and a range of outcome measures related to functional independence; regular aerobic activity and short-term exercise programmes confer a reduced risk of functional limitations and disability in older age. Although a precise characterization of a minimal or effective physical activity dose to maintain functional independence is difficult, it appears moderate to higher levels of activity are effective and there may be a threshold of at least moderate activity for significant outcomes. © 2010 Paterson and Warburton; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Bernhardt J.R.,Brown University | Bernhardt J.R.,University of British Columbia | Leslie H.M.,Brown University
Annual Review of Marine Science | Year: 2013

Ecological resilience to climate change is a combination of resistance to increasingly frequent and severe disturbances, capacity for recovery and self-organization, and ability to adapt to new conditions. Here, we focus on three broad categories of ecological properties that underlie resilience: diversity, connectivity, and adaptive capacity. Diversity increases the variety of responses to disturbance and the likelihood that species can compensate for one another. Connectivity among species, populations, and ecosystems enhances capacity for recovery by providing sources of propagules, nutrients, and biological legacies. Adaptive capacity includes a combination of phenotypic plasticity, species range shifts, and microevolution. We discuss empirical evidence for how these ecological and evolutionary mechanisms contribute to the resilience of coastal marine ecosystems following climate change-related disturbances, and how resource managers can apply this information to sustain these systems and the ecosystem services they provide. © 2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Stetler C.,Furman University | Miller G.E.,University of British Columbia
Psychosomatic Medicine | Year: 2011

Objectives: To summarize quantitatively the literature comparing hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function between depressed and nondepressed individuals and to describe the important sources of variability in this literature. These sources include methodological differences between studies, as well as demographic or clinical differences between depressed samples. Methods: The current study used meta-analytic techniques to compare 671 effect sizes (cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone, or corticotropin-releasing hormone) across 361 studies, including 18,454 individuals. Results: Although depressed individuals tended to display increased cortisol (d = 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54-0.66) and adrenocorticotropic hormone levels (d = 0.28; 95% CI, 0.16-0.41), they did not display elevations in corticotropin-releasing hormone (d = 0.02; 95% CI, -0.47-0.51). The magnitude of the cortisol effect was reduced by almost half (d = 0.33; 95% CI, 0.21-0.45) when analyses were limited to studies that met minimal methodological standards. Gender did not significantly modify any HPA outcome. Studies that included older hospitalized individuals reported significantly greater cortisol differences between depressed and nondepressed groups compared with studies with younger outpatient samples. Important cortisol differences also emerged for atypical, endogenous, melancholic, and psychotic forms of depression. Conclusions: The current study suggests that the degree of HPA hyperactivity can vary considerably across patient groups. Results are consistent with HPA hyperactivity as a link between depression and increased risk for conditions, such as diabetes, dementia, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis. Such a link is strongest among older inpatients who display melancholic or psychotic features of depression. Copyright © 2011 by the American Psychosomatic Society.


Deoni S.C.L.,Brown University | Kolind S.H.,University of British Columbia
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine | Year: 2015

Purpose: Multicomponent driven equilibrium single pulse observation of T1 and T2 (mcDESPOT) is an alternative to established multiecho T2-based approaches for quantifying myelin water fraction, affording increased volumetric coverage and spatial resolution. A concern with mcDESPOT, however, is the large number of model parameters that must be estimated, which may lead to nonunique solutions and sensitivity to fitting constraints. Here we explore mcDESPOT performance under different experimental conditions to better understand the method's sensitivity and reliability.Methods: To obtain parameter estimates, mcDESPOT uses a stochastic region contraction (SRC) approach to iteratively contract a predefined solution search-space around a global optimum. The sensitivity of mcDESPOT estimates to SRC boundary conditions, and tissue parameters, was examined using numerical phantoms and acquired in vivo human data.Results: The SRC approach is described and shown to return robust myelin water estimates in both numerical phantoms and in vivo data under a range of experimental conditions. However, care must be taken in choosing the initial SRC boundary conditions, ensuring they are broad enough to encompass the "true" solution.Conclusion: Results suggest that under the range of conditions examined, mcDESPOT can provide stabile and precise values. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Patent
University of British Columbia and GenomeDx Biosciences | Date: 2014-11-04

The present invention relates to methods, systems and kits for the diagnosis, prognosis and the determination of cancer progression of cancer in a subject. The invention also provides methods, systems and kits for determining the treatment modality of a cancer in a subject. The methods, systems and kits comprise expression-based analysis of biomarkers. Further disclosed herein, certain instances, are probe sets for use in assessing a cancer status in a subject. Further disclosed herein are classifiers for analyzing a cancer, such as, for example, bladder cancer.


Koch C.P.,University of Kassel | Shapiro M.,University of British Columbia | Shapiro M.,Weizmann Institute of Science
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2012

A study was conducted to demonstrate coherent control of ultracold photoassociation. The case of resonantly enhanced two-photon dissociation was examined to introduce the theoretical framework for the investigations. The methodology developed for the two-photon dissociation problem was applied to resonantly enhanced photoassociation. The initial state in photoassociation involved the scattering state and the goal was to transfer the population to the final bound state. The pulse intensities used were sufficiently small to avoid unwanted photoionization, photodissociation, and other strong field parasitic processes. It was demonstrated that working with pulses required that the atoms be sufficiently close to one another during the laser pulse, allowing them to be recombined. The initial wave packet of continuum states considered in the study needed to be synchronized in time and in duration with the recombining pulses.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.npr.org

90 Percent Of Fish We Use For Fishmeal Could Be Used To Feed Humans Instead Most of us don't spend a lot of time thinking about what the farmed seafood we eat might itself be eating. The answer is usually an opaque diet that includes some kind of fishmeal and fish oil. Fishmeal is usually made from ground-up, bony trash fish and forage fish — like anchovy, menhaden or herring — that nobody is clamoring for, anyway. Except researchers now say these are the very types of fish that may be more valuable to humans who eat them directly, rather than being diverted toward aquaculture and other uses. In a new study out Monday in the journal Fish and Fisheries, researchers say that the vast majority of fishmeal is actually made up of fish deemed suitable for "direct human consumption." Currently, a quarter of the world's commercially caught fish, 20 million tons of wild seafood, is directed away from our dinner plates every year, and instead, is used for fishmeal production. Researchers say a whopping 90 percent of that catch is considered "food grade" and could be eaten directly, potentially creating an important source of nutrition for those in developing countries at risk of food insecurity. "I was expecting there to be more truth to the argument that most of these fish don't have a place for human consumption, that there's generally not a market or a possibility of a market for these fish, but that's not what we found," says lead author Tim Cashion, research assistant at Sea Around Us, a project at the University of British Columbia's Institute for Oceans and Fisheries that works on globally reconstructing marine catches from 1950 to present. Of the 20 million tons of fish destined for fishmeal production each year, Cashion says most of it, an estimated 70 percent, is directed towards aquaculture, followed by pig and chicken production that uses it to speed growth and provide important nutrients. When we think of farmed seafood, American appetites keep shrimp and salmon at the top of the list, but globally, it's fish like tilapia or carp that are most widely farmed. In the past, those species were typically not fed fishmeal, but researchers say that's no longer the case. "Species that weren't being fed with fishmeal and fish oil before are now being fed it to supplement the diet. A good example of that is carp production in China," says Cashion, noting that China farms the majority of aquaculture production in the world. Indeed, a 2013 study of three Chinese provinces found that "virtually all carp and tilapia farmers... use manufactured feeds containing fishmeal." So fish that were once filter feeders or grew on vegetarian feed, are now fed a diet that relies on fishmeal to help speed growth, adding even more pressure to a finite resource like forage fish. But there's evidence the trend can go in the other direction as well. The salmon industry has been making strides in lowering the amount of fishmeal and fish oil in its feed by incorporating alternatives like soybean or algae. And Atlantic herring, once used heavily for the fishmeal/fish oil reduction industry, is now sought after for direct human consumption. "We've now seen this fishery flip," says Cashion. "That's changed in the last 15 years. People started eating these fish again, and there's larger export market opportunities to Japan and Europe, too." But perhaps it's not enough. For example, Peru and Chile have the world's largest anchoveta fishery, making them the world's largest producers of fish for fishmeal. Plenty of us know that anchovies are delicious and can be a coveted secret ingredient, but they're not always embraced like they should be. "Generally, over the world, a lot of people eat anchovies. In Peru they used to eat anchoveta, and now that they have an industry, they eat very little," says Cashion. And Cashion warns, the types of fish being used in fishmeal production is actually expanding. Species like pompanos, drums and miscellaneous marine crustaceans, sometimes sourced from bycatch in shrimp trawl fisheries, are also now being used for aquaculture. It's a troubling trend at a time when the U.N. is issuing warnings about making food systems more resilient to climate change, and when other predictions include malnutrition warnings for millions related to global seafood catch declines. "In a world with many food insecure populations and people that could substantially benefit from having more fish in their diet ... that we're using 20 million tons of fish to feed aquaculture and livestock production? I think people should care about that," says Cashion. For most American eaters, fish like fresh sardines can be difficult to source and even more intimidating to prepare. And few restaurant diners gravitate toward choosing fish like anchovy or herring first. "If you look around the world at all the cuisines that rely on these oily, healthy fish throughout the centuries, they haven't found it hard to prepare. Preparing isn't the problem — it's creating a culture of desiring them," says New York-based chef Dan Barber, author of The Third Plate. "One doesn't covet a sardine the way we covet a halibut." "It's true on the farm as well. We eat wheat and corn and rice, but we don't eat millet, rye or buckwheat. They're the sardine equivalent," he says. "They have high yields, they're beneficial to the ecology in the same way smaller fish are, yet we don't have a culture around eating rye the way Europe does, or millet in North Africa or buckwheat like Japan." Beyond the important human health benefits of including fish in our diets, especially for vulnerable populations, there are broader consequences to our global dependence on fishmeal. Marine mammals and seabirds depend on populations of small fish, too. We've seen first-hand how an El Nino-fueled crash in sardine stocks off the U.S. West Coast recently meant starving sea lion pups. And similar declines can impact higher-value fish like salmon, cods or tuna that depend on robust forage fish populations. Fish destined for fishmeal production means less food for more coveted wild species like salmon, cod or tuna higher up the food chain, Cashion says. Like other vexing food production problems, there's no easy answer for how to successfully redirect fish headed for fishmeal production toward our dinner plates instead. Cashion says large-scale change needs to be driven by governments, intergovernmental organizations and nonprofits that will promote food security through "direct human consumption" of fish. Make it happen, he says, "and there'd be more high-quality fish available to humanity as a whole." Clare Leschin-Hoar is a journalist based in San Diego who covers food policy and sustainability issues.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.npr.org

90 Percent Of Fish We Use For Fishmeal Could Be Used To Feed Humans Instead Most of us don't spend a lot of time thinking about what the farmed seafood we eat might itself be eating. The answer is usually an opaque diet that includes some kind of fishmeal and fish oil. Fishmeal is usually made from ground-up, bony trash fish and forage fish — like anchovy, menhaden or herring — that nobody is clamoring for, anyway. Except researchers now say these are the very types of fish that may be more valuable to humans who eat them directly, rather than being diverted toward aquaculture and other uses. In a new study out Monday in the journal Fish and Fisheries, researchers say that the vast majority of fishmeal is actually made up of fish deemed suitable for "direct human consumption." Currently, a quarter of the world's commercially caught fish, 20 million tons of wild seafood, is directed away from our dinner plates every year, and instead, is used for fishmeal production. Researchers say a whopping 90 percent of that catch is considered "food grade" and could be eaten directly, potentially creating an important source of nutrition for those in developing countries at risk of food insecurity. "I was expecting there to be more truth to the argument that most of these fish don't have a place for human consumption, that there's generally not a market or a possibility of a market for these fish, but that's not what we found," says lead author Tim Cashion, research assistant at Sea Around Us, a project at the University of British Columbia's Institute for Oceans and Fisheries that works on globally reconstructing marine catches from 1950 to present. Of the 20 million tons of fish destined for fishmeal production each year, Cashion says most of it, an estimated 70 percent, is directed towards aquaculture, followed by pig and chicken production that uses it to speed growth and provide important nutrients. When we think of farmed seafood, American appetites keep shrimp and salmon at the top of the list, but globally, it's fish like tilapia or carp that are most widely farmed. In the past, those species were typically not fed fishmeal, but researchers say that's no longer the case. "Species that weren't being fed with fishmeal and fish oil before are now being fed it to supplement the diet. A good example of that is carp production in China," says Cashion, noting that China farms the majority of aquaculture production in the world. Indeed, a 2013 study of three Chinese provinces found that "virtually all carp and tilapia farmers... use manufactured feeds containing fishmeal." So fish that were once filter feeders or grew on vegetarian feed, are now fed a diet that relies on fishmeal to help speed growth, adding even more pressure to a finite resource like forage fish. But there's evidence the trend can go in the other direction as well. The salmon industry has been making strides in lowering the amount of fishmeal and fish oil in its feed by incorporating alternatives like soybean or algae. And Atlantic herring, once used heavily for the fishmeal/fish oil reduction industry, is now sought after for direct human consumption. "We've now seen this fishery flip," says Cashion. "That's changed in the last 15 years. People started eating these fish again, and there's larger export market opportunities to Japan and Europe, too." But perhaps it's not enough. For example, Peru and Chile have the world's largest anchoveta fishery, making them the world's largest producers of fish for fishmeal. Plenty of us know that anchovies are delicious and can be a coveted secret ingredient, but they're not always embraced like they should be. "Generally, over the world, a lot of people eat anchovies. In Peru they used to eat anchoveta, and now that they have an industry, they eat very little," says Cashion. And Cashion warns, the types of fish being used in fishmeal production is actually expanding. Species like pompanos, drums and miscellaneous marine crustaceans, sometimes sourced from bycatch in shrimp trawl fisheries, are also now being used for aquaculture. It's a troubling trend at a time when the U.N. is issuing warnings about making food systems more resilient to climate change, and when other predictions include malnutrition warnings for millions related to global seafood catch declines. "In a world with many food insecure populations and people that could substantially benefit from having more fish in their diet ... that we're using 20 million tons of fish to feed aquaculture and livestock production? I think people should care about that," says Cashion. For most American eaters, fish like fresh sardines can be difficult to source and even more intimidating to prepare. And few restaurant diners gravitate toward choosing fish like anchovy or herring first. "If you look around the world at all the cuisines that rely on these oily, healthy fish throughout the centuries, they haven't found it hard to prepare. Preparing isn't the problem — it's creating a culture of desiring them," says New York-based chef Dan Barber, author of The Third Plate. "One doesn't covet a sardine the way we covet a halibut." "It's true on the farm as well. We eat wheat and corn and rice, but we don't eat millet, rye or buckwheat. They're the sardine equivalent," he says. "They have high yields, they're beneficial to the ecology in the same way smaller fish are, yet we don't have a culture around eating rye the way Europe does, or millet in North Africa or buckwheat like Japan." Beyond the important human health benefits of including fish in our diets, especially for vulnerable populations, there are broader consequences to our global dependence on fishmeal. Marine mammals and seabirds depend on populations of small fish, too. We've seen first-hand how an El Nino-fueled crash in sardine stocks off the U.S. West Coast recently meant starving sea lion pups. And similar declines can impact higher-value fish like salmon, cods or tuna that depend on robust forage fish populations. Fish destined for fishmeal production means less food for more coveted wild species like salmon, cod or tuna higher up the food chain, Cashion says. Like other vexing food production problems, there's no easy answer for how to successfully redirect fish headed for fishmeal production toward our dinner plates instead. Cashion says large-scale change needs to be driven by governments, intergovernmental organizations and nonprofits that will promote food security through "direct human consumption" of fish. Make it happen, he says, "and there'd be more high-quality fish available to humanity as a whole." Clare Leschin-Hoar is a journalist based in San Diego who covers food policy and sustainability issues.


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Publicly funding essential medicines could cover the cost of nearly half of all prescriptions in Canada, removing financial barriers for Canadians while saving $3 billion per year. The new research, led by Steve Morgan of the University of British Columbia and Dr. Nav Persaud of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, was published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal "Universal pharmacare has been long-promised but undelivered in Canada, in part because of concerns about where to start," said Morgan, a professor in the school of population and public health. "We show that adding universal public coverage of essential medicines to the existing system of drug coverage in Canada is a significant and feasible step in the right direction." The researchers identified a list of 117 essential medicines that included antibiotics, insulin, heart medication, anti-depressants, oral contraceptives and more. They found that this list accounted for 44 per cent of all prescriptions written in 2015, and up to 77 per cent of all prescriptions when therapeutically similar medications were considered. "The World Health Organization (WHO) says these essential medicines should be available to everyone who needs them," said Dr. Persaud, a family physician who led the team that developed the essential medicines list "We adapted the WHO's list based on clinical practice in Canada." Currently, Canadians rely on a patchwork of private and public coverage that leaves millions facing high out-of-pocket costs for drugs. Recent research has shown that many Canadians do not take medications as prescribed because they cannot afford the out-of-pocket cost. "Access to medicines can be the difference between life and death," said Dr. Persaud. "There are treatments for HIV and heart disease that save lives but only when they are in the hands of people who need them." Morgan and Dr. Persaud propose that governments purchase the essential medicines in bulk for all of Canada, which they found would save patients and private drug plans $4.3 billion per year while costing government only an additional $1.2 billion per year. The total net savings for Canadians would be $3.1 billion per year. "A program of this kind is a feasible way of improving the overall health of Canadians while dramatically lowering drug costs," said Morgan. "Other countries that do similar things pay 40 to 80 per cent less for these essential medicines." Dr. Persaud is leading a clinical trial with patients in four Family Health Teams in Ontario to compare the health outcomes and health-care use of people who received the free essential medicines and those who did not.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

Technology background boosts c-suite financial governance to meet growing corporate needs TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - Feb 8, 2017) - Patriot One Technologies, Inc. (TSX VENTURE: PAT) ( : PTOTF) ( : 0PL) ("Patriot One" or the "Company"), developer of a revolutionary concealed weapons detection system, is extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Michael Barnsley to the position of Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Barnsley is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), whose career includes over 30 years' experience as a Chartered Accountant (CA) providing financial management services to public companies. Mr. Barnsley has served as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary for both TSX and TSXV listed companies, principally within the technology sector. Mr. Barnsley commenced his career working as a Senior Manager with Deloitte & Touche and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia and is a member in good standing of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia. Martin Cronin, CEO and Director of Patriot One Technologies, Inc., stated, "On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Michael Malana for his services as Chief Financial Officer and wish him well in his future endeavours. Today, we welcome Michael Barnsley to the Patriot team and believe his extensive experience and understanding of what it takes to rapidly advance a new technology from development to commercialization is an immense asset to the Company. We are moving ahead at a pace that demands specific industry expertise and an understanding of the road ahead. Mr. Barnsley's appointment is both timely and inspiring, and we look forward to working closely with him as we continue to move our emerging weapons detection solution forward into the marketplace." In related news, the Company also announces that its financial year-end will be changed from May 31 to July 31 to align the year-ends of Patriot One Technologies, Inc. and its subsidiary. ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD About Patriot One Technologies, Inc. (TSX VENTURE: PAT) ( : PTOTF) (FRA: 0PL): Patriot One has developed a first-of-its-kind Cognitive Microwave Radar concealed weapons detection system as an effective tool to combat active shooter threats before they occur. Designed for cost-effective deployment in weapon-restricted buildings and facilities, NForce CMR1000 can be installed in hallways and doorways to covertly identify weapons and to alert security of an active threat entering the premises. Owner/operators of private and certain public facilities can now prominently post anti-weapons policies with compliance assured. The Company's motto Deter, Detect and Defend is based on the belief that widespread use of its technology will act as an effective deterrent, thereby diminishing the epidemic phenomena of active shooters across the globe. For more information, visit: www.patriot1tech.com. CAUTIONARY DISCLAIMER STATEMENT: No Securities Exchange has reviewed nor accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release. This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to product development, licensing, commercialization and regulatory compliance issues and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as "will", "may", "should", "anticipate", "expects" and similar expressions. All statements other than statements of historical fact, included in this release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations include the failure to satisfy the conditions of the relevant securities exchange(s) and other risks detailed from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulations. The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of any forward-looking information may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company will update or revise publicly any of the included forward-looking statements as expressly required by applicable law.


Shopsowitz K.E.,University of British Columbia | Hamad W.Y.,Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada | MacLachlan M.J.,University of British Columbia
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2011

Twisted organization: Pyrolysis of nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC)/silica composite films leads to mesoporous carbon materials with long-range chiral organization (see picture). The NCC acts as a template and the resulting mesoporous carbon has a high specific surface area (>1400 m 2 g -1) and accurately replicates the left-handed helical structure of the chiral nematic NCC films. © 2011 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Shopsowitz K.E.,University of British Columbia | Hamad W.Y.,FP Innovations | MacLachlan M.J.,University of British Columbia
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2012

Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) has been used to template ethylene-bridged mesoporous organosilica films with long-range chirality and photonic properties. The structural color of the organosilica films results from their chiral nematic ordering, can be varied across the entire visible spectrum, and responds to the presence of chemicals within the mesopores. To synthesize these materials, acid hydrolysis was used to remove the NCC template without disrupting the organosilica framework. The resulting mesoporous organosilica films are much more flexible than brittle mesoporous silica films templated by NCC. These materials are the first of a novel family of chiral mesoporous organosilicas with photonic properties. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Khan M.K.,University of British Columbia | Hamad W.Y.,Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada | Maclachlan M.J.,University of British Columbia
Advanced Materials | Year: 2014

Chiral nematic structures with different helical pitch from layer to layer are embedded into phenol-formaldehyde bilayer resin composite films using cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) as templates. Selective removal of CNCs results in mesoporous resins with different pore size and helical pitch between the layers. Consequently, these materials exhibit photonic properties by selectively reflecting lights of two different wavelengths and concomitant actuation properties. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Brown D.J.A.,University of British Columbia | Brugger H.,European Academy of Bolzano | Boyd J.,Mineral Springs Hospital | Paal P.,Innsbruck Medical University
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

ACCIDENTAL HYPOTHERMIA (I.E., AN INVOLUNTARY DROP IN CORE BODY temperature to <35°C [95°F]) is a condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Each year, approximately 1500 patients in the United States have hypothermia noted on their death certificate; however, the incidence of primary and secondary hypothermia and the associated morbidity and mortality remain unknown. In a single tertiary care center, 14 different rewarming methods were used to treat 84 cases of accidental hypothermia, which reflects the uncertainties about treatment and the potential for complications. Certain treatment approaches are available only in specialized centers, and clarification is needed regarding the choice between transporting a patient to a specialized center and providing treatment locally. Existing recommendations do not include recent developments in rewarming methods nor do they assist with decisions regarding transportation. Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.

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